Social security agreement with Denmark

Information if you get NZ Super or other NZ entitlements and are living in Denmark or are living in New Zealand and get an Danish pension.

Introduction

This information is for:

  • New Zealanders who have resided, reside or are going to reside in Denmark
  • Former Danish residents who have resided, reside or are going to reside in New Zealand.

Note: If you intend to only travel around Denmark and then return to New Zealand or intend to travel around Denmark and then to a third country, visit:

  • The Social Security Agreement

    New Zealand and Denmark have a social security agreement. The Agreement covers the following benefits and pensions:

    New Zealand

    • New Zealand Superannuation
    • Veteran's Pension
    • Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind)
    • Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers.

    Denmark

    • Old Age Pension
    • Anticipatory Pension
    • Disability Benefit
    • Labour Market Supplementary Pension

    The Agreement means that:

    • Some New Zealand benefits and pensions can be paid to New Zealanders going to reside in Denmark.
    • New Zealanders who reside in Denmark and have Danish citizenship may be able to use their New Zealand residence to help them meet the criteria for some Danish benefits and pensions.
    • When New Zealanders apply for a Danish benefit or pension, they can apply for a New Zealand benefit or pension as well.
    • Former Danish residents that now reside in New Zealand may be able to use their residence in Denmark to meet the residential requirements for benefits or pensions in New Zealand.
    • When former Danish residents apply for a New Zealand benefit or pension and may also qualify for a Danish benefit or pension, they must apply for that Danish benefit or pension as well.

    Note: If you have resided in Denmark or New Zealand for some time, you may qualify for benefits or pensions not covered by the Agreement.

    If you have resided or worked overseas or you have made contributions to an overseas social security scheme, you may be required to apply for an overseas benefit or pension. Senior Services International/Work and Income will decide if this is required when you apply for your New Zealand benefit or pension.

    This document only applies to benefits and pensions covered by the Agreement.

    Phrases used

    "Ordinarily resident in New Zealand" describes a person who normally resides in New Zealand and intends to continue doing so. As there are a number of factors that prove "ordinarily resident in New Zealand" Senior Services International decides this on a case by case basis.

    A partner is your spouse, or a person with whom you have a de facto relationship or in a civil union with.

    Udbetaling Danmark in Denmark is the equivalent of Work and Income in New Zealand.

  • Getting a benefit or pension in Denmark

    If you reside in Denmark or you intend to, you may qualify for benefits or pensions from both Denmark and New Zealand.

  • Getting New Zealand benefits or pensions in Denmark

    Senior Services use certain criteria to decide who can receive a New Zealand benefit or pension in Denmark and how much will be paid.

    Can I receive New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension?

    You may be able to receive either of these in Denmark if:

    • you are being paid New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension, or you meet the New Zealand criteria (except being ordinarily resident in New Zealand)
    • you have been resident and present in New Zealand for more than 10 years since the age of 20 with five years since the age of 50 (your periods of residence in Denmark after the age of 20 may be able to be used to meet the above residence criteria but you must have resided in New Zealand continuously for at least one year since age 20)
    • you are in Denmark or New Zealand when you apply
    • you intend to reside in Denmark for at least 26 weeks
    • you are 65 or over
    • you have the necessary service and disability qualifications (for Veteran's Pension).

    Note: You can receive either New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension, but not both.

    The Living alone Rate

    The single living alone rate is not paid to people residing in Denmark.

    Partners

    New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension paid into Denmark does not include payments for partners who do not meet the criteria for either pension eg they are under age 65 or do not meet the residency criteria.

    Can I receive the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind)?

    You may be able to receive the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) if:

    • you are being paid the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind), or you meet the New Zealand criteria (except being ordinarily resident in New Zealand)
    • you have resided in New Zealand for at least two years continuously (your periods of residence in Denmark may be able to be used for this but you must have resided in New Zealand continuously for at least one year since age 20)
    • you are in Denmark or New Zealand when you apply
    • you intend to reside in Denmark for at least 26 weeks
    • you are 21 or over
    • you are permanently and severely restricted in your capacity to work because of a health condition, injury or disability or you are blind.

    What happens if I have a partner?

    When we pay the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) in Denmark, we may also be able to include payments for partners, even if they work or have never resided in New Zealand.

    Can I receive the Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers?

    You may be able to receive this in Denmark if:

    • you are being paid the Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers, or you meet the New Zealand criteria (except being ordinarily resident in New Zealand)
    • you have resided in New Zealand for at least two years continuously (your periods of residence in Denmark may be able to be used for this but you must have resided in New Zealand continuously for at least one year since age 20)
    • the periods of time that you and/or your late partner accumulated Danish insurance may be treated as time resided in New Zealand (for the Widow's Benefit)
    • any overlapping periods can only be counted once (for the Widow's Benefit)
    • you are in Denmark or New Zealand when you apply
    • you intend to reside in Denmark for at least 26 weeks
    • you are 21 or over
    • you are the parent of one or more dependent children whose other parent is deceased.

    Periods of Danish residence accumulated by your late partner may be able to be treated as qualifying residence for the Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers. Overlapping periods of residence can only be used once.

    Note: Partners that died in Denmark may be treated as if they died in New Zealand.

    Can I receive extra assistance?

    New Zealand supplementary benefits and allowances (Disability Allowance, Accommodation Supplement and Family Tax Credit (formerly Family Support)) are not paid to people residing outside New Zealand. They will usually stop the day after you leave New Zealand.
    If you reside in Denmark, you may be able to receive extra help from Denmark. Talk to Udbetaling Danmark in Denmark about this. See below for contact details.

    How do I apply for New Zealand benefits or pensions?

    You should apply before you leave New Zealand.

    Applying from New Zealand

    At least four weeks before you are due to leave New Zealand, you should call Senior Services to arrange an interview.
    At the interview, you (and your partner) will complete an application form that includes details of your periods of residence in New Zealand. This will help Senior Services International work out how much you should be paid.

    These are the things you need to take to the interview:

    • your passport
    • another form of identification (driver's licence or birth certificate, marriage certificate)
    • your travel itinerary or tickets
    • your New Zealand or overseas bank account details that you want your payments made to (bank book, bank statement or deposit slip)
    • any documentation that shows your intent to reside in Denmark eg accommodation agreement
    • any other information that you think will be helpful.

    You may need to take additional items depending on your situation. You can check this when you call to arrange an interview.

    When will my payments begin?

    If you are already paid a New Zealand benefit or pension, the new payment usually starts from the first payment date after you leave New Zealand.
    If you are not already paid New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension, payment usually starts from the date of your application or the entitlement date - whichever is later.

    If you are not already paid the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) or Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers, there may be a stand-down period before your payments begin.

    For more information, contact Senior Services. See below for contact details.

    Applying from Denmark

    To apply for a New Zealand benefit or pension, contact Udbetaling Danmark.
    Payment cannot start before you make your application.

    You (and your partner) will need to complete an application form and provide proof of the time you resided in New Zealand. This can include testimonials, work references and letters from neighbours and friends (please provide their contact details).

    You will also need:

    • proof of your identity (your passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, or driver's licence)
    • your bank account details so that payments can be made to you (bank book, bank statement or deposit slip).

    See below for contact details.

    What if my circumstances change?

    Even if you are not residing in New Zealand, you must still tell Senior Services about any changes to your circumstances eg you marry or change address. You also need to advise Udbetaling Danmark of these changes.

    Life certificates and renewal forms

    Senior Services will send you life certificates if you receive New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension, or renewal forms if you receive the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) or the Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers.

    Make sure you return your life certificate or renewal form to Senior Services promptly. Your benefit or pension payments are suspended if they are not returned within eight weeks and cancelled if they are still not returned after 16 weeks.

    New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension

    A life certificate is issued every 12 months if you receive New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension while residing in Denmark.

    In some cases a life certificate is issued every six months eg you use an agent, your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension payments are made to a New Zealand bank account, or you are over 80.

    Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) or Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers

    If you receive one of these benefits, you will be sent a renewal form every 12 months.

  • Getting Danish benefits or pensions in Denmark

    Udbetaling Danmark in Denmark decides who can receive Danish benefits or pensions and how much will be paid.

    If you are a Danish citizen, the time you resided in New Zealand may be able to be treated as periods of Danish residence. This means if you meet the general criteria, you may be able to receive:

    • Old Age Pension
    • Anticipatory Pension
    • Disability Benefit
    • Labour Market Supplementary Pension.

    How do I apply for Danish benefits and pensions?

    You should apply while in Denmark. For more information contact Udbetaling Danmark in Denmark. See below for contact details.

    How much will I be paid?

    New Zealand payments

    The rate you are paid depends on the New Zealand benefit or pension you apply for and the number of whole months you resided in New Zealand since you turned 20.

    The amount you receive will change each month depending on the exchange rate used to convert your payments from New Zealand dollars to Danish krona.

    New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension

    The rate you are paid is based on your date of birth as well as the number of whole months you resided in New Zealand since the age of 20. New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension are paid into Denmark at a gross rate

    Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) and Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers

    • If you have resided in New Zealand for 300 months or more since you turned 20, you may receive the maximum rate.
    • If you have resided in New Zealand for less than 300 months since turning 20, you may receive an amount based on the number of months resided in New Zealand since turning 20.

    These benefits are paid at the net rate.

    Note: Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) and Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers are all income-tested. This means that the rate you are paid depends on any other income that you have.

    Danish payments

    Udbetaling Danmark decides how much you will be paid. For more information contact them. See below for contact details.

    How are payments made from New Zealand?

    You can choose to have your benefit or pension payments made:

    • to an overseas bank account every four weeks, or
    • to a New Zealand bank account every fortnight.

    If you choose to have your benefit or pension payments made to an overseas bank account, Senior Services will pay the initial cost of transferring the funds. You must pay for any other costs that your bank charges.

    If you choose to have your benefit or pension payments made to a New Zealand bank account, you must pay the cost of any transfers overseas.

    What tax will I have to pay?

    You may have to pay tax on New Zealand benefit or pension payments when you reside in Denmark. For more information, contact the Danish tax authorities.

    If your New Zealand benefit or pension payments are being made into a New Zealand bank account you may need to pay tax to New Zealand Inland Revenue. Please contact them for more information, you may find their website address www.ird.govt.nz a useful place to start.

    What happens to my New Zealand benefit or pension if I leave Denmark?

    If you move to another country, you may continue to receive your New Zealand benefit or pension depending on which country you move to.

    New Zealand has social security agreements with Australia, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. You will need to re-apply for your New Zealand benefit or pension under the appropriate agreement if you move to any of these countries.

    The agreement between New Zealand and the United Kingdom does not allow for payment of New Zealand benefits and pensions paid in the United Kingdom. However you may be able to receive a United Kingdom benefit or pension.

    If you move from Denmark to reside in a country which New Zealand does not have a social security agreement with, your New Zealand benefit or pension payments will stop.

    If you visit another country, a temporary absence of up to 26 weeks from Denmark will not affect your benefit or pension payments.

    If your temporary absence from Denmark is for more than 26 weeks, your payments will be affected from the date you leave Denmark. You may have a debt which you will need to repay.

    Contact Senior Services to discuss how a move or visit to another country will affect your benefit or pension payments. See below for contact details.

    What happens to my New Zealand benefit or pension if I return to New Zealand?

    If you return to New Zealand permanently, you may be paid the full New Zealand rate less any overseas pension that you receive from Denmark or another country. You will need to tell Senior Services International about your return. See below for contact details.

    If you return to New Zealand for 26 weeks or less, you will receive the same rate of New Zealand benefit or pension that you were getting in Denmark.

  • Getting a benefit or pension in New Zealand

    If you reside in New Zealand or you intend to, you may qualify for benefits or pensions from both New Zealand and Denmark.

    If you are paid a New Zealand benefit or pension, you must apply for any Danish benefit or pension that you may be able to receive. You must also apply for any other overseas benefit or pension that you may be able to receive.

    The combined amount of your New Zealand and overseas benefit or pension payments you receive will be similar to the amount you would have been paid if you spent all your life in New Zealand.

    Generally, you must have permanent residence or New Zealand citizenship to be paid a New Zealand benefit or pension.

    If you already receive a Danish benefit or pension, or a benefit or pension from another country, you must tell Senior Services.

  • Legislation

    A copy of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity with Denmark) Order 1997 (the Agreement) can be found here on the New Zealand Legislation website:

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    If my partner is under 65 and is included in my New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension and we move to Denmark, is my rate affected?

    Yes. New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension payments into Denmark do not include payments for partners under 65.

    Will I continue to receive extra assistance from New Zealand (in addition to my benefit or pension) if I move to Denmark?

    No. Extra assistance (Accommodation Supplement, Disability Allowance and Family Tax Credit (formally Family Support)) is only paid to people residing in New Zealand.

    Who decides how much I will be paid?

    Udbetaling Danmark in Denmark decides who receives a Danish benefit or pension and how much will be paid. Senior Services in New Zealand decide who can receive a New Zealand benefit or pension and how much will be paid.

    What happens to the information I provide Senior Services?

    Any application forms you complete for New Zealand benefits or pensions may be compared with information held by Udbetaling Danmark and Senior Services. Senior Services check your identity and residency status.

    Senior Services may compare information with Inland Revenue, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Corrections, the New Zealand Customs Service, the Department of Internal Affairs, the Accident Compensation Corporation, Kāinga Ora (used to be Housing New Zealand) and Immigration New Zealand. Senior Services may pass this information on to Udbetaling Danmark as well.

    In certain circumstances, Senior Services may approach other governments from whom you may be able to receive a similar benefit or pension. Under the New Zealand Privacy Act 1993, you have the right to request all information we hold about you and corrections to that information.

    Is my benefit or pension affected if I owe money to Udbetaling Danmark or Senior Services?

    Yes. If you owe money in either country for an overpayment of a benefit or pension, it can be deducted from your benefit or pension. Repayments can be negotiated.

    What happens if I'm in New Zealand and my Danish benefit or pension is higher than my New Zealand benefit or pension?

    You will be paid your full Danish benefit or pension but not a New Zealand benefit or pension.

    If your partner is paid a New Zealand benefit or pension, any excess amount from your Danish pension over the maximum New Zealand rate will be deducted from their New Zealand benefit or pension.

    In some circumstances, your full Danish pension may be deducted from your partners New Zealand benefit or pension payment.

    I'm leaving New Zealand to reside in Denmark, but would like to travel first. How is my benefit or pension affected?

    If you intend to live in Denmark for over 26 weeks you may take up to 26 weeks to reside there eg you take a three month holiday in the United Kingdom first. In this instance, you would be considered ordinarily resident in Denmark for benefit and pension purposes.

    If you would like to travel for more than 26 weeks before going to reside in Denmark you may, depending on the amount of time you have spent in New Zealand, be entitled to receive up to 100% of your payments of New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension. Once you arrive in Denmark and begin to reside there, you will need to apply under the Agreement so that payment of your New Zealand Superannuation can continue. You can only use this option if you are entitled to receive, or are receiving New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension before departing from New Zealand.

    For more information on leaving New Zealand and New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension please refer to: Retired and Going Overseas

    Can I receive back-dated payments for New Zealand benefits or pensions?

    No. You will be paid from the date that Senior Services or Udbetaling Danmark in Denmark receive your application or the date of entitlement - whichever is later.

    If you qualify for a Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) or Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers, there may be a stand-down period. Payment begins after that period.

    Can I choose not to apply for a Danish benefit or pension or a benefit or pension from another country if I am paid a New Zealand benefit or pension?

    No. You are legally required to apply for any overseas benefit or pension that you may be entitled to.

    I have been travelling through Denmark for more than 26 weeks while receiving payment of New Zealand Superannuation overseas. I had the intention of returning to New Zealand at the end of my travels but have now decided to reside in Denmark, what should I do?

    If you begin to reside in Denmark you will need to apply for payment to be made under the Agreement. Please contact us immediately to make sure you continue to receive your full and correct entitlement. We will then let you know what or if you need to do anything.

    You should also contact Udbetaling Danmark in Denmark. See back page for contact details.

    I have been residing in Denmark and am currently receiving payments of New Zealand Superannuation from Senior Services. I have decided that I would like to travel overseas for a year., Can I receive my New Zealand Superannuation while I do this?

    The Agreement only allows you to be paid for temporary absences of up to 26 weeks. If you intend to travel outside of Denmark for a period longer than 26 weeks, you will not be entitled to any payment of New Zealand Superannuation during your absence. Please contact International Services to discuss this further.

  • Contacts

    For Denmark contact details go to our overseas pensions agency contact details page.

    If you write to Udbetaling Danmark you should include:

    • your full name, full address and date of birth
    • a list of all the countries you have resided in
    • your Danish reference number (if known).

    For New Zealand Senior Services contact details go to the Getting in touch with us page on the Ministry of Social Development website.

linksContact us

For more information, contact our International Services Team