Taking your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension when moving overseas

This is a guide to receiving New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran’s Pension when moving to a country that New Zealand does not have a social security agreement or special portability arrangement with, from 5 January 2010.

If you receive New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super) or Veteran's Pension (VP) and you want to move to a country that is not covered by a social security agreement or the New Zealand special portability arrangement with Pacific countries, you may be able to take up to 100 percent of the gross rate of your NZ Super or VP with you.

For more information on the Social Security Agreements or the Special Portability Arrangement with Pacific countries, contact the International Services team or visit www.seniors.msd.govt.nz

Moving to a country that is not covered by an agreement or the special portability arrangement

If you are moving to one of these countries, you might still be able to receive part or all of your NZ Super or VP.  You must apply before you leave New Zealand.

You may be able to get your payments overseas if:

  • you qualify for NZ Super or VP in your own right before you leave New Zealand, and
  • you are ordinarily resident and present in New Zealand on the date you apply for payment overseas of NZ Super or VP.  Please see the Residency Requirements for New Zealand Benefits and Pensions fact sheet for more information.
  • You are going overseas to reside in another country for more than 26 weeks.
  • You make an application stating the country you wish to reside in.

If you have a spouse or partner, they can only get NZ Super or the VP payments overseas if they qualify in their own right.  This means they can't be 'included' as a non-qualified spouse or partner in your payments once you leave New Zealand.

You will need to complete forms we will send you and return them to us so we can ensure your details are up to date and your payments are correct.  Please also tell us if your circumstances change or you return to live in New Zealand.

Rate of payment

The amount you get paid while overseas will be calculated using the number of months you have resided in New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 65.

When calculating your rate of payment we may be able to count time spent outside of New Zealand as periods of New Zealand residence, if your absence was because of reasons such as:

  • Missionary work.
  • Time serving in the New Zealand Defence Forces.
  • Specialist medical treatment.
  • Working as a mariner on New Zealand registered ships.
  • Serving as a volunteer with Volunteer Service Abroad.

Examples of how the payment rate is calculated when travelling in one or more countries for more than 26 weeks are:

If you've lived in New Zealand…  You'll get…
 for 540 months (45 years) between the ages of 20 and 65 Full basic rate
for 120 - 540 months (10-45 years) between the ages of 20 and 65 1/540th of the basic rate for each month you have lived here between the ages of 20 and 65
 for 120 months (10 years) between the ages of 20 and 65 120/540th of the basic rate

Payments can be made into an overseas bank account every four weeks or into a New Zealand bank account every fortnight.

You must apply to receive your NZ Super of VP payments overseas before you leave New Zealand and provide us with an itinerary. If your itinerary changes please tell us.

Extra financial assistance

Any extra assistance you may get in New Zealand can not be paid overseas, including the Living Alone Payment, Disability Allowance or Accommodation Supplement.  These payments will stop from the day after you leave New Zealand.

Tax

Payments are made at a gross rate. If we pay your NZ Super or VP into an overseas bank account you may have a tax liability in the country you have moved to. Please contact the tax authority in the country you are moving to for more information

If your payments are being made into a New Zealand bank account you will need to contact New Zealand Inland Revenue to determine your tax liability.

We will send you a tax certificate every April. This will show what you have been paid while you have been overseas during the previous financial year.

Need more information?

Contact
Note: When calling from overseas replace the '+' with the international direct dial prefix for the country you're in.

Calling from New Zealand

Ph: 0800 777 227
Fax: 04 918 0159

Calling from Australia

Ph: 1800 150 479

Calling from other countries

Ph: + 64 4 978 1180
Fax: + 64 4 918 0159

Mail

International Services
PO Box 27 178
Wellington 6141

Website

www.seniors.msd.govt.nz

Email

international.services@msd.govt.nz

If you are deaf or hearing impaired you can send a message to our Deaf Link free-fax 0800 621 621.