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First Home Saver Account

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Saving a deposit for your first home can be difficult. But it can be easier with IMB’s First Home Saver Account (FHSA). The IMB FHSA is specifically designed for future first home buyers who can save for four financial years without withdrawing, so their savings can be put towards purchasing their first home.

 

  • Competitive bonus rate when you make at least one deposit a month
  • No monthly account keeping fees and no day-to-day fees
  • Set up automatic deposits using IMB’s direct credit facility
  • Government contribution of 17% each financial year on the first $6,000 of savings (max contribution $1,020 each financial year)

 

 

For more information on the Government First Home Saver Scheme click here.

 

Important: You should consider opening an IMB First Home Saver Account (FHSA) if you are going to use the savings in your account to purchase or build your first home to live in. Important conditions apply to how and when funds in an FHSA can be withdrawn. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this product. IMB also suggests that you seek independent financial advice before making a decision about this product. If you change your mind about opening an IMB FHSA you are entitled to close your account and have the balance returned to you within a 14 day cooling off period. This advice is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Certain aspects of the FHSA terms and conditions (including the dollar value of deposits that are eligible for Government contributions each financial year and the dollar value of the overall FHSA balance cap) are managed by the Government, rather than IMB. These terms and conditions may be changed by the Government without notice to you. You should refer back to the most recent version of the FHSA PDS if, at any time, you need to confirm the then applicable terms and conditions.

You should consider opening a FHSA if you:

  • Only want to use your savings to buy or build your first home in Australia to live in; and 
  • Are able to save at least $1,000 a year ($20 a week) in 4 separate financial years (they do not need to be consecutive)

 

To open an account you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over and under 65
  • Have a tax file number
  • Have never owned a home in Australia that you have lived in; and
  • Have never opened a FHSA before.

 

You can open another FHSA if you are transferring your savings from one FHSA to another. 

 

If you are saving with others, each person must open their own individual First Home Saver Account. Each of you can then receive the benefit of having a FHSA. You cannot open a joint account with someone else.

 

If you are unsure of your eligibility go to www.ato.gov.au

 

For more information on the Government's First Home Saver Scheme click here.

 

Important: You should only consider opening an IMB First Home Saver Account (FHSA) if you are going to use the savings in your account to purchase or build your first home to live in. Important conditions apply to how and when funds in an FHSA can be withdrawn. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this product. IMB also suggests that you seek independent financial advice before making a decision about this product. If you change your mind about opening an IMB FHSA you are entitled to close your account and have the balance returned to you within a 14 day cooling off period. This advice is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Certain aspects of the FHSA terms and conditions (including the dollar value of deposits that are eligible for Government contributions each financial year and the dollar value of the overall FHSA balance cap) are managed by the Government, rather than IMB. These terms and conditions may be changed by the Government without notice to you. You should refer back to the most recent version of the FHSA PDS if, at any time, you need to confirm the then applicable terms and conditions.

Certain criteria apply to how you can withdraw the money you have saved in your FHSA and you can only withdraw your savings for one of the following purposes: 

  • To buy your first home
  • As money you can add to your super
  • As money you can withdraw as a lump sum if you are aged 60 or over
  • As money you can pay into a genuine mortgage

 

  How to save with a FHSA
  • You put the money into your account the same way as you would make deposits into a normal building society account. You can do this at any time, and for as long as you need to save.
  • You cannot salary sacrifice into your account.
  • You do not need to put money in every year – but your account will only get Government contributions when you do.
  • Once the total amount in your account reaches $90,000 – including Government contributions and income from investment earnings – you cannot put any more money into your account.

 

 You can keep your account open until:

  • You buy your first home; or
  • You are eligible to pay the money into a genuine mortgage; or
  • You choose to move your savings into your super; or
  • You turn 65

 

When you turn 65, you must close your account and withdraw all of your savings, or move it into super.

  How to open an account
  1. Meet IMB's FHSA opening eligibility criteria
  2. Fill out the application form available here or from any IMB Branch
  3. Drop the completed application form into your local IMB Branch
  4. Make an initial deposit into your account
  Using your savings for your first home

Active accounts

When you have met one or more of the release conditions for active accounts and you’re ready to use your savings to buy your first home, you can apply to withdraw all of the money from your FHSA by:

  1. Filling out the Application to Close a FHSA available here
  2. Either: Drop the original form into your local IMB Branch; or
  3. Mail: PO Box 2077 Wollongong, NSW 2500
  4. IMB will then process your withdrawal request
  5. Close your FHSA

Generally, you will not be able to open another FHSA.

Inactive accounts

You can withdraw your savings from an inactive account to pay into a genuine mortgage for your first home when you have met any of the release conditions for inactive accounts. Once you withdraw your savings you must:

  • Transfer your savings to your mortgage loan account within 28 days; and
  • Live in your first home for at least six months starting within 12 months of transferring your savings to your mortgage loan account.

 

Penalties will apply if you do not meet these conditions. 

  Release conditions

Active accounts

If your FHSA is active, you can withdraw your savings to buy your first home if:

  • You have put at least $1,000 a year into your account in four seperate financial years (they do not need to be in a row); or
  • If you are buying your first home with other people that have a FHSA, you can withdraw the savings from each account if just one of you has put $1,000 into your account in four separate financial years.

Inactive accounts

If your FHSA is inactive, the balance of your account can be transferred into a genuine mortgage for your first home when you have met one of the following release conditions:

  • There are four separate financial years which are made up from:

o   Financial years where you have put at least $1,000 into your account before the financial year you buy your first home; and/or

o   Financial years which include and follow the financial year you buy your first home (even though you haven’t put $1,000 into your account in those financial years)

  • The total amount in your account is over $90,000 and you have held the account for at least four financial years;
  • You are buying your first home with someone else who has a First Home Saver Account and they have met one of the release condition for paying money into a genuine mortgage. 

 

For more information on the Government's First Home Saver Scheme click here.

  If you change your mind

We provide a cooling-off period that allows you to close your FHSA within 14 days, with a refund of the deposit. You will need to notify us in writing, by email or mail, within 14 days of opening the account.

 

We will refund your deposit, minus any taxes we have paid and any administration costs.

 

You can transfer the savings in your account to another FHSA provider. If you do, we will transfer the savings in your account, minus any costs.

 

Your old account will be closed as soon as your savings have been transferred.

  Making your account inactive

You start living in a home you own


If you start living in a home that you own you will no longer be eligible to have an active account. You must tell IMB within 30 days, or penalties will apply. Click here to access the Notification of Home Purchase FormOnce you’ve told IMB that you’ve started living in a home you own, you can:

  • Close the account and move your savings into your super, or

  • Keep the account open but inactive until you are eligible to transfer your savings to a genuine mortgage, or
  • Close the account and withdraw your savings as a lump sum if you are aged 60, or over.

You can withdraw your savings from an inactive account to pay into a genuine mortgage for your first home when you have met any of the release conditions for inactive accounts. Once you withdraw your savings you must:

  • Transfer your savings to your mortgage loan account within 28 days; and
  • Live in your first home for at least six months starting within 12 months of transferring your savings to your mortgage loan account.

 

Penalties will apply if you do not meet these conditions. 

 

You want your account to remain open but inactive

If you buy your first home after 26 May 2011, and you tell IMB within 30 days, you may request that your account stays open but inactive. You can’t make deposits to your account once it’s inactive and IMB will not pay you any more interest on the balance of your account.

The Government will no longer pay contributions on an inactive account, but will still pay any contributions earned up until the time your account became inactive.

 

Inactive account release conditions

The balance of an inactive account can be paid to a genuine mortgage over your first home when you have met at least one of the following release conditions:

  • There are four separate financial years which are made up from:

o   Financial years where you have put at least $1,000 into your account before the financial year you buy your first home; and/or

o   Financial years which include and follow the financial year you buy your first home (even though you haven’t put $1,000 into your account in those financial years)

  • The total amount in your account is over $90,000 and you have held the account for at least four financial years;
  • You are buying your first home with someone else who has a First Home Saver Account and they have met one of the release conditions for paying money into a genuine mortgage.

If you sell your first home before you have met one of the release conditions you must transfer the balance of an account to your super or withdraw your savings as a lump sum if you are aged 60 years or over.

 

You may also choose at any other time to transfer the balance of an inactive account to your super or withdraw your savings as a lump sum if you are aged 60 years or older. 

 

 

Important:You should consider opening an IMB First Home Saver Account (FHSA) if you are going to use the savings in your account to purchase or build your first home to live in. Important conditions apply to how and when funds in an FHSA can be withdrawn. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this product. IMB also suggests that you seek independent financial advice before making a decision about this product. If you change your mind about opening an IMB FHSA you are entitled to close your account and have the balance returned to you within a 14 day cooling off period. This advice is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Certain aspects of the FHSA terms and conditions (including the dollar value of deposits that are eligible for Government contributions each financial year and the dollar value of the overall FHSA balance cap) are managed by the Government, rather than IMB. These terms and conditions may be changed by the Government without notice to you. You should refer back to the most recent version of the FHSA PDS if, at any time, you need to confirm the then applicable terms and conditions.

How an IMB FHSA helps you save

Your savings can earn high interest:

  • You can earn a high variable interest rate on the savings in your FHSA by meeting the bonus interest criteria, helping you save for your first home faster.

 

Payment of interest:

  • IMB will pay you interest on the total balance of your FHSA on the condition that you make one deposit to the account, of any amount, during each month. Interest is credited after business on the last day of each month. If this condition is not met, interest will be forfeited for that month. See the IMB FHSA PDS for more information.

 

Your savings will not go down:

  • The IMB FHSA is a building society account – so what you put in, stays in
  • We don’t charge any day-to-day fees which can also reduce your savings. 

 

There are fees charged in special situations and a list of these are available here

 

How the Government helps you save

The Government boosts your savings with contributions and a low rate of tax on the interest your FHSA earns.

  • When you put a dollar in your account, the Government contributes 17 cents
  • Any money you put in, up to a total of $6,000 in a financial year will get this Government contribution – anything over this amount will not.
  • Government contributions are paid directly into your FHSA after you have lodged your tax return and IMB has told the Australia Tax Office how much you have put in.

 

If you’re saving with other people that have their own first home saver accounts, each person will receive government contributions on the money they put into their account.

 

You are not taxed:

  • On the money you put into your account, or
  • On the Government contributions, or
  • When you withdraw your savings for your first home.

 

There is a low rate of tax on the interest you earn on your savings:

  • Interest on FHSA’s is taxed at 15% but this is paid directly to the AustralianTax Office by IMB

 

For more information on the Government's First Home Saver Scheme click here

 

Important: You should consider opening an IMB First Home Saver Account (FHSA) if you are going to use the savings in your account to purchase or build your first home to live in. Important conditions apply to how and when funds in an FHSA can be withdrawn. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this product. IMB also suggests that you seek independent financial advice before making a decision about this product. If you change your mind about opening an IMB FHSA you are entitled to close your account and have the balance returned to you within a 14 day cooling off period. This advice is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Certain aspects of the FHSA terms and conditions (including the dollar value of deposits that are eligible for Government contributions each financial year and the dollar value of the overall FHSA balance cap) are managed by the Government, rather than IMB. These terms and conditions may be changed by the Government without notice to you. You should refer back to the most recent version of the FHSA PDS if, at any time, you need to confirm the then applicable terms and conditions.

  1. How do I open a FHSA?
  1. Meet IMB's FHSA eligibility criteria
  2. Fill out the application form available here or from any IMB Branch
  3. Drop the completed application form into your local IMB Branch
  4. Make an initial deposit into your account

 

You cannot open a joint account with someone else.

  2. Who is eligible to open a FHSA?

To open an account you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over and under 65
  • Have a tax file number
  • Have never owned a home in Australia that you have lived in; and
  • Have never opened a FHSA before. 

You can open another FHSA if you are transferring your savings from one FHSA to another. 

 

If you are saving with others, each person must open their own individual First Home Saver Account. Each of you can then receive the benefit of having a FHSA. You cannot open a joint account with someone else.

 

If you are unsure of your eligibility go to www.ato.gov.au
  3. How long do the savings need to be in the FHSA for?

If your account remains active, four financial years in which you make a deposit of at least $1,000 (they do not need to be in a row). Years you do not make any deposits or deposits of less than $1,000 will not count towards the four financial year criteria. Different conditions apply where you choose to make your account inactive. 

  4. Can I access my savings before the four years is up?

Generally, you must meet at least one of the release conditions before you are able to access your savings. At any time you can transfer the balance of your FHSA directly into a superannuation fund , or, if you are aged 60 or over, withdraw the balance as a lump sum. If you decide to buy or build your first home before meeting at least one of the release conditions, you may choose to keep your FHSA open but inactive. Click here to learn more about the release conditions 

  5. What are the Government contributions?

The Government boosts your savings with contributions and a low rate of tax on the income your investment earns.

  • When you put a dollar in your account, the Government contributes 17 cents
  • Any money you put in, up to a total of $6,000 in a financial year, will get this Government contribution – anything over this amount will not.
  • Government contributions are paid directly into your FHSA after you have lodged your tax return and IMB has told the tax Office how much you have put in.

 

If you’re saving with other people that have their own first home saver accounts, each person will receive government contributions on the money they put into their account.

 

You are not taxed:

  • On the money you put into your account, or
  • On the Government contributions, or
  • When you withdraw your savings for your first home.

 

There is a low rate of tax on the interest your earn on your savings:

  • Earnings on FHSA’s are taxed at 15% but this is paid to the Tax Office by IMB

 

For more information on the Government's First Home Saver Scheme click here

  6. When are the Government contributions paid?

Government contributions are paid after you receive your Tax Return. It can take up to 8 weeks after you receive your return to recieve the Government contribution. 

  7. What is the interest rate?

First Home Saver

Account balance Standard Variable
Interest Rate % p.a.
All balances (pre-tax) 3.82%
All balances (after 15% tax) 3.25%

Standard Variable Bonus interest is payable when bonus interest criteria are met, that is, at least one deposit is made in the calendar month. If monthly deposit is not made, no interest is payable for that month. The Government requires IMB to collect tax of 15% on your interest earnings, and disclose the after tax rate.

  8. How do I deposit my funds into the FHSA?

You can deposit into the FHSA as you would deposit into any other IMB account. This includes cheque deposit, cash deposit and electronic funds transfer. Please note, you cannot salary sacrifice into the FHSA. 

  9. Can I print an application form off the website?

Yes.  Please click here to access the First Home Saver Account Opening Form. Once completed, drop the form into your local IMB branch with the relevant identification.

  10. What if my situation changes?

You decide not to buy a first home

If this happens you can choose to:

  • Move your savings into your super, or
  • Withdraw your savings as a lump sum if you are aged 60 or over


You want to buy your first home before you have put $1,000 into your account in four seperate financial years

  • You cannot use the savings in your account immediately if you are buying your first home on your own
  • You can use the savings in your account if you are buying your home with someone else who has put $1,000 into their account in four separate financial years
  • You may choose to keep your account open but inactive. Click here for more information on making your FHSA inactive.


You start living in a home you own

If you start living in a home that you own you will no longer be eligible to have an active account. You must tell IMB within 30 days, or penalties will apply. Click here to access the Notification of Home Purchase Form. Once you’ve told IMB that you’ve started living in a home you own, you can:

  • Close the account and move your savings into your super, or
  • Keep the account open but inactive until you are eligible to transfer your savings to a genuine mortgage, or
  • Close the account and withdraw your savings as a lump sum if you are aged 60, or over.


You don't have any money to deposit into your FHSA

You do not need to put money into your account every year. You can choose to:

  • Start saving again when you can
  • Move your savings into your super, or
  • Withdraw your savings as a lump sum if you are aged 60, or over. 

 

You want to close your account but haven’t met the release conditions to withdraw your savings to use for buying your first home:

You can choose to:

  • Move your savings to your super, or
  • Withdraw your savings as a lump sum if you are aged 60, or over.

You want your account to remain open but inactive:

If you buy your first home after 26 May 2011, and you tell IMB within 30 days, you may request that your account stays open but inactive. You can’t make deposits to your account once it’s inactive and IMB will not pay you any more interest on the balance of your account.

The Government will no longer pay contributions on an inactive account, but will still pay any contributions earned up until the time your account became inactive.

The balance of an inactive account can be paid to a genuine mortgage over your first home when you have met one of the following release conditions:

  • There are four separate financial years which are made up from:

o   Financial years where you have put at least $1,000 into your account before the financial year you buy your first home; and/or

o   Financial years which include and follow the financial year you buy your first home (even though you haven’t put $1,000 into your account in those financial years)

  • The total amount in your account is over $90,000 and you have held the account for at least four financial years;
  • You are buying your first home with someone else who has a First Home Saver Account and they have met one of the release conditions for paying money into a genuine mortgage.

If you sell your first home before you have met one of the release conditions you must transfer the balance of an account to your super or withdraw your savings as a lump sum if you are aged 60 years or over.

You may also choose at any other time to transfer the balance of an inactive account to your super or withdraw your savings as a lump sum if you are aged 60 years or older. 

 

You move overseas:

You can keep your account open, and continue to put money into your account – but you won’t receive any Government contributions if you are overseas for an entire financial year.

 

You experience hardship:

After moving your savings into your super, you may apply to access your super under the early release provisions. These include severe financial hardship, permanent disability or on specified compassionate grounds.

  11. What if I change my mind?

We provide a cooling-off period that allows you to close your FHSA within 14 days, with a refund of the deposit. You will need to notify us in writing, by email or mail, within 14 days of opening the account.

 

We will refund your deposit, minus any taxes we have paid, and any administration costs.

 

You can transfer the savings in your account to another FHSA provider. If you do, we will transfer the savings in your account, minus any costs.

 

Your old account will be closed as soon as your savings have been transferred.

 

For more information on the Government's First Home Saver Scheme click here.

 

Important: You should consider opening an IMB First Home Saver Account (FHSA) if you are going to use the savings in your account to purchase or build your first home to live in. Important conditions apply to how and when funds in an FHSA can be withdrawn. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this product. IMB also suggests that you seek independent financial advice before making a decision about this product. If you change your mind about opening an IMB FHSA you are entitled to close your account and have the balance returned to you within a 14 day cooling off period. This advice is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Certain aspects of the FHSA terms and conditions (including the dollar value of deposits that are eligible for Government contributions each financial year and the dollar value of the overall FHSA balance cap) are managed by the Government, rather than IMB. These terms and conditions may be changed by the Government without notice to you. You should refer back to the most recent version of the FHSA PDS if, at any time, you need to confirm the then applicable terms and conditions.


 
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