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State Pensions in New Zealand

Will I be eligible for a Government Pension in New Zealand?

The state pension in New Zealand is known as New Zealand Superannuation or more colloquially as National Super. You will be eligible if you:

  • are 65 years of age or over and
  • are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and
  • have lived in New Zealand for a certain amount of time and
  • normally live here when you apply

You need to have lived in New Zealand for:

  • a total of 10 years since you turned 20 and
  • five of those years to be since you turned 50, unless you spent some of that time overseas

What happens to my UK State Pension?

The UK state retirement pension is normally payable in New Zealand, but you will not get annual increases in the benefit once you have ceased to be ordinarily resident in the UK. This means that your pension will stay at the same rate as when you left the UK, or when you first qualified for the pension if you were already living in New Zealand at the time.

If you are eligible for New Zealand Superannuation, your UK state pension will be paid directly to the NZ Government. If you are not eligible for New Zealand Superannuation, you will receive your UK state pension directly. You need to declare this income on your tax return in New Zealand.

You are generally not eligible for special allowances, such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, when you are living in New Zealand.

To find out how much UK state pension you are eligible for, you can apply for a State Pension Forecast from the Department for Works and pensions. This will include information on your Basic State Pension, Additional State Pension (or SERPS), and Graduated Retirement Benefit. You need to complete form BR19, which is available at the following addresses:

http://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/resourcecenter/br19/home.asp

The DSS website for pensions is:

http://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/home.asp

Receiving UK Pensions Payments in New Zealand

If you are receiving UK pension income in New Zealand (whether from a personal, occupational or state pension), there are a couple of points to note:

  1. If you are eligible for New Zealand Superannuation, your UK state pension will be paid directly to the NZ Government
  2. If you are not eligible for New Zealand Superannuation, you will receive your UK state pension directly. You need to declare this income on your tax return in New Zealand
  3. You will be taxed on your income from personal and occupational pensions, unless you are a transitional resident

Currency exchange charges and exchange rate fluctuations can affect your income. Our foreign exchange partner NZ Forex has a good service for setting up regular pension payments from the UK to New Zealand. You’ll save money on the charges that a UK high street bank would make every month for setting up these payments. You’ll also get a competitive exchange rate on the funds you transfer, and you can even get an exchange rate locked in for up to two years, providing you with stability of income.

It might not be too late to transfer your personal and occupational pensions – most pensions can still be transferred once they are in draw-down, but not once an annuity has been purchased.

 

 

 

 


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5 Responses to “State Pensions in New Zealand”

  1. SANDRA TZAGOS(NEE TREMBATH) Says:

    i WAS BORN IN NEW ZEALAND and worked over 5 years before moving to Greece;there is an agreement between Greece and New Zealand that I can transfer my working years in NZ,in order to add to the years that I have worked in Greece. I can get a pension here at aged 60 provided I have fulfilled 20 years of work;I am aware that in NZ 65 is the pension age;I have 16 years here and with the 5 from New Zealand I am eligible.What is the procedure I need to follow for you to send me the documents needed.Greece does not have a NZ embassy to ask these questions.Thankyou.

  2. SANDRA TZAGOS(NEE TREMBATH) Says:

    I was born in New Zealand to New Zealand parents,grew up there and worked for over 5 years from 1970 to 1977 .How can I transfer my working years in NZ to my working years in Greece to use them for my pension here?

  3. Mike Wilkey Says:

    Hi Sandra!

    Thanks a lot for getting in touch. This is an interesting question and I’ll be sure to get in touch with you by email soon.

  4. SANDRA TZAGOS(NEE TREMBATH) Says:

    hello Mike,still awaiting an answer!!!!!

  5. Mike Wilkey Says:

    Hi Sandra!

    A thousand apologies. Mike was on holiday. He is back now and will be in touch very shortly.

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