Danish benefits and pensions paid in New Zealand

Information for people who are entitled to Danish benefits and pensions who now live in NZ

Common questions and answers

Updated November 2020

Who is entitled to Danish Benefits and Pensions paid in New Zealand?

New Zealand has a social security agreement with Denmark. Under the Agreement the following benefits and pensions are available to former Danish residents living in New Zealand:

  • Old Age Pension
  • Anticipatory Pension (Disability Pension)
  • Labour Market Supplementary Pension (ATP)

Udbetaling Danmark handles Danish pensions abroad and foreign pensions in Denmark.

For more information about Danish benefits and pensions, see:

How do I apply for a Danish benefit or pension?

If you have previously lived in Denmark, meet the minimum residency requirements and are not already getting a Danish benefit or pension, you need to complete an application form. You can contact Senior Services who will send you the form.

We will forward your application to Udbetaling Danmark which is the government office that administers Denmark's social security scheme.

Once you have submitted your application Udbetaling Danmark will contact you directly to tell you their decision.

You need to provide:

  • two forms of identification for yourself and one form of identification for your spouse/partner
  • "Notification of Residence Details in NZ" form
  • bank account verification
  • any other information that you think may be helpful

For more information contact us.

Why do I need to apply for a Danish Benefit or Pension?

You and your spouse or partner are required, under sections 173-176 of the Social Security Act 2018, to take all reasonable steps to apply for any overseas pensions for which you may be eligible. If you, or your spouse or partner, do not apply for any Danish benefit or pension for which you may be eligible, you risk losing your entitlement to New Zealand benefit or pension.

How much Danish benefit or pension will I receive in New Zealand?

Entitlement to a full Danish Old Age pension is generally conditional on at least 40 years of permanent residence in Denmark between age 15 and 65 (the pensionable age) with a minimum of three years between ages 15 and 65. If the period of residence is shorter, the pension is calculated as 1/40 of the full pension for each year of residence in Denmark.

If, for example, the period of residence in Denmark is 10 full years, the pension will be paid as 10/40 of a full Danish pension.

Udbetaling Danmark decides whether you qualify for a Danish benefit or pension and how much you can be paid in New Zealand.

For more information about the rates of Danish benefits or pensions contact:

Will the amount of Danish benefit or pension be increased while I live in New Zealand?

Danish pension rates are adjusted once a year according to wage developments on the labour market. The Danish authorities will advise you of any increase should it happen.

How often will I receive payments of my Danish benefit or pension in New Zealand?

For those clients living in New Zealand your Danish benefit or pension is paid monthly.

Will my Danish benefit or pension affect the amount of New Zealand benefit or pension I get?

Sections 187-191 of the Social Security Act 2018 requires the rate of New Zealand benefit or pension to be reduced where an overseas pension is:

  • part of a programme that provides benefits, pensions and periodical allowances for similar circumstances for which New Zealand benefits and pensions and periodical allowances would be paid (for example old age/retirement, invalidity and survivors pensions); and
  • administered by, or on behalf of, an overseas government.

The Danish Old Age Pension and Anticipatory (Disability) Pension fit within the requirements in sections 187-191 because:

  • these benefits and pensions are part of the Danish social security scheme which provides Danish benefits and pensions for similar types of circumstances for which New Zealand benefits and pensions would be paid. For example, the Danish Old Age Pension and New Zealand Superannuation provide financial support in old age; and
  • Danish benefits and pensions are administered by Udbetaling Danmark an agency of the Danish government.

This means that if you are entitled to a Danish benefit or pension paid by Udbetaling Danmark, the amount of this pension will be deducted dollar for dollar from your New Zealand benefit or pension payments.

The Labour Market Supplementary Pension (ATP) is generally deducted from any New Zealand benefit or pension but will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Are there any instances where the state pension does not affect the rate of New Zealand benefit or pension?

There is no provision in New Zealand legislation that would allow the amount of the Danish benefit or pension to be disregarded when determining the amount of New Zealand benefit or pension to be paid.

However if you travel or move to a country other than New Zealand or Denmark you may be entitled to a proportional amount of New Zealand benefit or pension based on the amount of time that you have lived in New Zealand. When paid this rate of New Zealand benefit or pension you can generally keep your Danish benefit or pension.

There are some exceptions. For more information about moving or travelling to a third country contact:

Am I entitled to other payments in addition to a New Zealand benefit or pension?

You may also be eligible for extra help such as a Disability Allowance for medical costs and an Accommodation Supplement for accommodation expenses. Contact Senior Services or Work and Income to check whether you are entitled to extra help.

Does my Danish benefit or pension affect my spouse or partner's New Zealand benefit or pension?

If your partner is getting a New Zealand benefit, such as Jobseeker Support or Supported Living Payment, any excess amount from your Danish benefit or pension will be deducted from your partner’s New Zealand benefit.

If your partner is getting NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension, your Danish benefit or pension does not affect this. Also, if one partner receives an overseas pension but does not receive a NZ Super, Veteran's Pension or any other New Zealand benefit, their overseas pension cannot be applied to reduce their partner’s NZ Super or Veteran's Pension payments.

If a person is included in their partner’s NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension as a non-qualified partner, the amount of Danish benefit or pension will be deducted from their payment, and the remaining NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension amount will be divided equally between the two of you.

Why can't I keep the full Danish benefit or pension and the full New Zealand benefit or pension?

Sections 187-191 of the Social Security Act 2018 ensures that the combined amount you receive from your New Zealand benefit or pension and any overseas benefit or pension is equivalent to the amount you would receive if you only received a New Zealand benefit or pension.

For example, it takes 10 years before a person becomes entitled to New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension. So if you were to receive a partial Danish benefit or pension as well as the full amount of New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension, you would receive more state retirement pension than those superannuitants who have lived all their lives in New Zealand and who have contributed to the funding of New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension for a longer period of time through paying their taxes.

What options are available for payment of my Danish benefit or pension in New Zealand?

Your Danish benefit or pension is paid direct into your own bank account.

Do similar pensions from other overseas countries also affect payment of New Zealand benefit or pension?

Yes, where the requirements of sections 187-191 of the Social Security Act 2018 are met, people eligible for a benefit or pension from another overseas country will have the amount of that benefit or pension deducted from their New Zealand benefit or pension.

How do I find out about my own individual situation?

The rules around international agreements are complex. You should speak with us to clarify your own individual situation.

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Please contact our International Services Team for more information