Living overseas

You can live (reside) almost anywhere in the world and still get part or all of your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension payments. What you'll get depends on where you go to and how long you've resided in New Zealand.

Information

Call International Services to arrange a meeting at least 4-6 weeks before you leave.

  • Who can get it

    You may be able to get New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super) or Veteran's Pension while you're living overseas.

    You need to:

    • talk to our International Services team before you go
    • intend to be away from New Zealand for more than 26 weeks.
  • Going overseas to do humanitarian work

    If you go overseas temporarily to do full time voluntary and unpaid humanitarian work for a recognised aid agency, you may be able to continue getting your NZ Super or Veteran's Pension for up to 156 weeks. Humanitarian work does not generally include missionary work.

    • If you are intending to be overseas for more than 156 weeks, your NZ Super payments will stop from the day after your departure from New Zealand.
    • To continue to receive payment for more than 156 weeks, you must apply before you leave New Zealand for payment overseas under the General Portability, Special Portability or Social Security Agreement provisions with other countries.
    • While working for a recognised aid agency overseas, you must continue to meet the ordinarily resident criteria in New Zealand for the whole time that you are away in order to be able to receive your payments.

    Recognised Aid Agency

    A recognised aid agency is an organisation that has, as its principal function, the giving of aid and assistance to less advantaged communities in one or more other countries. These include organisations such as the Red Cross, United Nations Volunteers, Volunteer Services Abroad and World Vision.

    Determining if an organisation is a recognised aid agency

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) determines whether an organisation meets the criteria to be a recognised aid agency. The more information you can supply on the type of work being done and the functions of the organisation you are working for, the better informed MFAT will be in making its decision.

    What if MFAT determines that an organisation is not a recognised aid agency?

    You can make a submission to MFAT outlining the reasons why you think they should reconsider their decision, including any information from the organisation you are working for. Please contact International Services about submitting more information.

  • Where you're going

    What you can get depends on which country you're going to. New Zealand has Social Security Agreements with a number of countries.

    • Each agreement enables New Zealanders to get certain benefits or pensions when residing in these countries.
    • The agreements allow for similar payments to people who move to New Zealand from these countries.
    • Who's eligible and who can apply depend on where you're going to reside.

    If you apply from overseas we can usually only pay you from the date you make your application.

    If you get payments while residing in a country New Zealand has a Social Security Agreement with and want to travel out of that country, you may be able to continue to get paid. But that will depend on the Social Security Agreement.


    Residing in Pacific countries

    New Zealand also has a special portability arrangement with 22 Pacific countries. You can reside in any one of these countries and get some or all of your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension. You must apply before you leave New Zealand.


    Other countries

    If you are going to reside in any other country not covered by a Social Security Agreement or a special portability arrangement, you can get up to 100 per cent of your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension.

    You must apply before you leave New Zealand.

  • If you receive an overseas pension

    If you are being paid a New Zealand benefit or pension in a country other than New Zealand you may be able to also receive an overseas benefit or pension from that country. Your payments from us may be affected and you need to talk to us.

    If you are going to live in another country:

    The amount of New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension you get from us depends on the country you're going to. If you qualify for an overseas social security based pension and you:

    • are going to reside in a country which New Zealand has a Social Security Agreement with, there are specific rules - please talk with our International Services team first
    • are going to reside in a Pacific country covered under the special portability arrangement, we'll deduct your overseas pension from the full basic New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension rate you get first and then assess how much you're entitled to
    • are going to reside in any other country, any overseas pension you receive will generally not be taken into account. This is because your payments are calculated according to the amount of time you've resided in New Zealand.
  • Extra 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 Social Security agency about this when you get there.
  • If you have a partner

    • They can only get NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension payments overseas if they qualify in their own right.
    • If you're going to a country we have a Social Security Agreement with, your partner can apply for payment under that Social Security Agreement once they have reached the qualifying age.
  • Temporarily returning to New Zealand

    If you receiving a New Zealand benefit or pension while living overseas and are visiting New Zealand temporarily or on holiday, you can continue to receive the same payments as you get overseas.

  • Income tax

    • If you reside overseas you probably won't have to pay New Zealand tax on the payments you receive from us.
    • We will send you a tax certificate every April. This will show what you've been paid while you've been overse as during the previous financial year.
    • For more information on your tax liability in the country you're going to, please contact their tax department.

linksContact

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 if you want to travel or live overseas.

Contact International Services