Going overseas to live

Living overseas usually means moving to another country permanently or spending more time overseas than in New Zealand. You must tell us before you go.

What happens to your benefits if you go overseas to live?


Before you leave New Zealand, make sure you discuss your plans with us, even if you're only going for a short time.

Sometimes a short time away can be counted as 'living overseas'

New Zealand has Social Security Agreements with a number of countries. If you go overseas to live and you're on certain types of income support, you may be able to take some or all of your payments with you - or receive payments from the country you move to.

If you move to a country we don't have a Social Security Agreement with, you will not be able to take your income support with you.

  • Other types of income support

    • If you live overseas, we can't pay you family tax credit or other benefits and payments such as Disability Allowance or Accommodation Supplement.
    • You may be able to get other help from the country you move to. You need to ask about this when you get there.
  • Decisions about payments from other countries

    • If you move to another country, any decisions about that country's income support are made by the social security organisation of the country you are living in.
    • If you disagree with a decision they make, you need to contact them, not us.
    • Your rights in other countries may be different than what they are in New Zealand.
  • Income Tax

    • You don't pay New Zealand tax on the payments you get from us when you live overseas. You will probably have to pay tax in the country you move to.
    • For more information contact the tax department of the country you are going to.


Senior Services International help you get paid the right amount of New Zealand Benefit or pension whether you live in New Zealand or overseas

Contact Senior Services International