Guernsey benefits and pensions paid in NZ

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

Frequently asked questions

Updated November 2020

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

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

  • Old Age Pension
  • Invalidity Benefit
  • Survivor's Benefit (comprising Bereavement Payment, Widowed Parent's Allowance and Bereavement Allowance)
  • Industrial Injury Benefit
  • Industrial Disablement Benefit
  • Death Grant

The Social Security Department decides who can receive a Guernsey benefit or pension and how much will be paid.

For more information about Guernsey benefits and pensions, see:

How do I apply for a Guernsey benefit or pension?

If you have previously made social security contributions in Guernsey and you are not already getting a Guernsey 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 the Guernsey Social Security Department who administers the Guernsey social security scheme.

Once you have submitted your application the Social Security Department 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 (if applicable)
  • bank account verification
  • any other information you may think is helpful

Why do I need to apply for a Guernsey 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 benefit or pension for which you may be eligible. If you, or your spouse or partner, do not apply for any Guernsey benefit or pension for which you may be eligible, you risk losing your entitlement to a New Zealand benefit or pension.

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

The Social Security Department decides whether you qualify for a Guernsey benefit or pension using Guernsey law. The Social Security Department also decides how much Guernsey benefit or pension you can be paid in New Zealand.

For more information about the rates of Guernsey benefits or pensions see:

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

The rate of benefit or pension is reviewed and increased on 1 January every year and is based on the cost of living.

You do not have to do anything to receive the increase. The increase will be paid to you automatically and you will receive a letter from the Social Security Department to advise you of your new rate payable.

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

For those clients living in New Zealand your Guernsey benefit or pension is paid every four weeks.

Will my Guernsey 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 benefit or pension is:

  • part of a programme that provides benefits, pensions and periodical allowances for the similar circumstances for which New Zealand benefits, 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 Old Age Pension, Invalidity Benefit, Survivor's Benefit (comprising Widowed Parent's Allowance and Bereavement Allowance), Industrial Injury Benefit, Industrial Disablement Benefit fit within the requirements in sections 187-191 because:

  • these benefits and pensions are part of the Guernsey social security scheme which provides Guernsey benefits and pensions for similar types of circumstances for which New Zealand benefits and pensions would be paid. For example, the Guernsey Old Age Pension and New Zealand Superannuation both provide financial support in old age; and
  • Guernsey benefits and pensions are administered by the Social Security Department of Guernsey.

This means that, if you are entitled to a Guernsey benefit or pension paid by the Social Security Department the amount of this pension will be deducted dollar for dollar from your New Zealand benefit or pension payments. The Guernsey Bereavement Payment and Death Grant will be assessed on a case by case basis.

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

The only situation where the full amount of a Guernsey pension is not deducted from NZ Super and other New Zealand benefits is where any portion of the Guernsey pension has been earned from voluntary contributions. The voluntary portion is not deductible.

However if you travel or move to a country other than New Zealand or Guernsey 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 Guernsey benefit or pension.

However 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 Guernsey 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 Guernsey benefit or pension will be deducted from your partner’s New Zealand benefit.

If your partner is getting NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension in their own right, your Guernsey benefit or pension does not affect this. Also, if your partner receives an overseas pension but does not receive any New Zealand benefit their overseas pension does not affect 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 Guernsey 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 Guernsey 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 Guernsey Old Age 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 Guernsey benefit or pension in New Zealand?

You can choose to have your Guernsey benefit or pension paid by the Direct Payment Method or the Special Banking Option.

For more information, see:

Do similar benefits or 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 overseas benefit or pension amount 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.

linksContact us

Please contact our International Services Team for more information