Residing in any other country

You may be able to continue to get your New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super) or Veteran's Pension Payments when you go to live in another country. You need to tell us before you go.

Information

If you're going overseas to live, you must contact us at least six weeks before you leave.

  • Who can get it

    You can apply to take up to 100% of the basic rate of New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super) or the Veteran's Pension anywhere in the world if:

    • you're going to reside for more than 26 weeks in a country New Zealand does not have a Social Security Agreement with and,
    • the country is not one of the 22 Pacific countries covered by the special portability arrangement.

    See:

    To do this you'll need to:

    • qualify for the NZ Super or the Veteran's Pension in your own right before you leave and not be 'included' in your partner's payments
    • be ordinarily resident and present in New Zealand when you apply
    • intend to reside in another country or countries for more than 26 weeks
    • complete an application for payment overseas which states the country or countries in which you intend to reside.

    If you qualify under a social security agreement

    If you have qualified for NZ Super or Veteran's Pension using your contributory periods or residence in a country New Zealand has a social security agreement with:

    Please talk to us first before you make any travel bookings.

    Most of the social security agreements contain provisions which prevent the payment of NZ Super or Veteran's Pension to persons who:

    • travel to and around non Agreement countries for more than 26 weeks or
    • who intend to reside in a non-Agreement country for more than 26 weeks.
  • How much can you get

    Your payment will be based on the number of months you've resided in New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 65.

    If you've resided 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

    If you have been overseas (between the ages of 20 and 65), but you remained ordinarily resident in New Zealand during your absence, we may be able to count those absences as if you were resident in New Zealand when calculating the amount you will be paid. This includes any period of New Zealand absence:

    • for the purpose of obtaining any medical treatment or vocational training if there were good and sufficient reasons for leaving New Zealand to obtain this;
    • while serving on board any ship registered or owned in New Zealand and engaged in trading to and from New Zealand;
    • while serving as a member of any defence force of any Commonwealth country or serving in connection with any war in which New Zealand forces were involved as a member of any organisation attached to any of those forces;
    • while serving as an accredited volunteer appointed by Volunteer Service Abroad Incorporated;
    • while (or while the client's spouse is) undertaking missionary work as a member of, or on behalf of, any religious body; and
    • where a person (or their spouse) was liable to pay New Zealand tax on the earnings from their overseas employment.

    Note: You can't get the Living Alone rate of New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension overseas. Instead you'll be paid the single sharing rate.

  • Extra financial help

    • If you live overseas, we are unable to pay extra help such as the Disability Allowance, Family Tax Credit or the Accommodation Supplement.
    • You may be able to get extra help from the country you move to. You need to ask the appropriate Social Security agency about this when you get there.
  • How to apply

    You need to complete an application form and arrange an appointment at your nearest Work and Income service centre at least six weeks before you leave New Zealand. Contact us to arrange a meeting

    You, (and your spouse or partner, if any), will need to bring to your meeting:

    • your passport
    • another form of identification
    • your travel itinerary or tickets.
    • If you're going away for more than 26 weeks and are entitled to receive payments while you're living overseas, you have choices about how you're paid.
    • Payments can be made direct to your New Zealand bank account every two weeks or to your overseas bank account every four weeks.
    • Once you're living or travelling overseas, it can take around 6 weeks to change your payments to your overseas bank account.
    • Don't close your old bank account until you receive your first payment into your overseas account.

linksContact us

Our International Services team specialise in paying New Zealand benefits and pensions overseas. They are the best people to contact for questions about getting your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension while travelling or residing overseas.

Contact International Services