Travelling overseas for 26 weeks or less

If you get NZ Super or Veteran's Pension and plan to go overseas for 26 weeks or less, your payments may continue while you're away.

Your NZ Super or Veteran's Pension payments will continue as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • you intend to live primarily in New Zealand and
  • you consider New Zealand to be your home.

You may not meet these criteria if you spend more time overseas than in New Zealand over the course of a year. If you're not sure, call us to discuss your situation.

Getting other payments from us

If you're getting other payments from us, eg Winter Energy Payment, Accommodation Supplement, Disability Allowance or Temporary Additional Support, you can only continue to get these payments for up to 28 days while you're overseas.

What you need to do

If you get other payments from us and you're going overseas for more than 28 days, you need to tell us about your travel plans.

Complete our online form or call us

  • How travel delays could affect your payments

    If you're delayed and return to New Zealand after 26 weeks, your NZ Super or Veteran's Pension payments will stop after the 26th week.

    If your delay is:

    • unexpected, you may not have to pay back your 26 weeks of payments, and we may be able to help you out with an overseas payment
    • expected, you may have to pay back the 26 weeks of payments.

    Unexpected delays and overseas payments

    If your delay is unexpected, eg, you can't return due to an event outside your control, you can apply for an on-going overseas payment to help you when your payment stops after 26 weeks.

    Unexpected delays include:

    • aircraft breakdowns
    • bereavement
    • sudden illness/injury to you, your partner or relatives.

    There are certain criteria you need to meet to get the overseas payment.

    How to apply for overseas payments

    Email us as soon as you can and we'll email you an application form. Complete the form and email it back to us. You may also need to provide proof of what caused your unexpected delay.

    If your application's approved, we'll email you to let you know and tell you how much you'll get (this depends on your situation). We'll pay you from the later date of either:

    • when your 26 week payment stops, or
    • when we receive your application.

    When you arrive back in New Zealand

    You need to email us or call us and tell us:

    • the date you arrived back
    • your living situation, eg, whether you're living alone or with someone else
    • if you're returning to New Zealand permanently or not
    • your bank account number (if it's changed since you've been away).

    You'll also need to provide proof of the date you arrived back in New Zealand, eg your boarding pass (you can scan and email this to us).

    Once you've made contact with us, we'll cancel your overseas payment and start your normal NZ Super or Veteran's Pensions payment again.

    Expected delays

    If your delay is expected, eg you choose to stay for longer than 26 weeks, you may need to pay back the full 26 weeks of payment you received. If you return to New Zealand:

    • within 27-30 weeks, you don't need to pay it back
    • after 30 weeks, you may need to pay it back.

    You need to email us or call us as soon as you can to let us know that you'll be overseas for more than 26 weeks.

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 if you want to travel or live overseas.

Contact International Services