Social security agreement with the Republic of Ireland

Information if you get NZ Super or other NZ entitlements and are living in Republic of Ireland or are living in New Zealand and get an Irish pension.

This information is for:

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

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

  • The Social Security Agreement

    New Zealand and Ireland 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
    • Orphan's Benefit

    Ireland

    • State Pension (Contributory)
    • State Pension (Transition)
    • Invalidity Pension
    • Widow's or Widower's (Contributory) Pension
    • Orphan's Contributory Allowance
    • Bereavement Grant`
    • Guardian's Payment (Contributory)

    The Agreement means that:

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

    Note: If you have resided in Ireland or New Zealand for some time you may qualify for benefits and 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. 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" Work and Income decides this on a case by case basis.

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

    The Department of Social Protection in Ireland is the equivalent of Work and Income in New Zealand.

  • Getting a benefit or pension in Ireland

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

  • Getting New Zealand benefits or pensions in Ireland

    Senior Services use certain criteria to decide who can receive a New Zealand benefit or pension in Ireland 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 Ireland 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 Irish insurance after the age of 20 may be able to be used to meet this but you must have resided in New Zealand for at least one year continuously since age 20)
    • you are in Ireland or New Zealand when you apply
    • you intend to reside in Ireland for more than 26 weeks
    • you are 65 or over (for New Zealand Superannuation)
    • you have the necessary service and disability qualifications (for Veteran's Pension).

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

    The Living Alone Rate

    The Living Alone Payment is not paid to people residing in Ireland.

    Partners

    New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension paid into Ireland does not include payments for partners who do not meet the criteria for either pension eg they are under 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) in Ireland 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 Irish insurance may be able to be used for this but you must have resided in New Zealand for at least one year continuously since age 20)
    • you are in Ireland or New Zealand when you apply
    • you intend to reside in Ireland for more than 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 Ireland, we may also be able to include payments for partners, even if they work or have never resided in New Zealand.

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

    You may be able to receive this in Ireland 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 Irish insurance may be able to be used for this but you must have resided in New Zealand for at least one year continuously since age 20)
    • the periods of time that you and/or your late partner accumulated Irish insurance may be treated as time resided in New Zealand
    • any overlapping periods can only be counted once (for the Widow's Benefit)
    • you are in Ireland or New Zealand when you apply
    • you have resided or intend to reside in Ireland for more than 26 weeks
    • you are 21 or over
    • you are the parent of one or more dependent children whose other parent is deceased.

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

    Can I receive an Orphan's Benefit?

    You may be able to receive an Orphan's Benefit in Ireland if:

    • you are paid an Orphan's Benefit, or you meet the New Zealand criteria (except being ordinarily resident in New Zealand)
    • you are 18 or over
    • you are likely to look after the child for at least 12 months continuously
    • you intend to reside in Ireland for more than 26 weeks
    • the child’s circumstances qualified them for an Orphan’s Benefit while they were residing in New Zealand
    • the child you are looking after was born in New Zealand or Ireland or has been resident and present in New Zealand for 12 months continuously
    • you are not the child’s natural or adoptive parent.

    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 are residing in Ireland, you may be able to receive extra help from Ireland. Talk to the Department of Social Protection in Ireland about this. See below for contact details.

    How do I apply for New Zealand benefits and 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 Work and Income 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 license 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 Ireland 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 the 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.

    Note: If you receive an overseas pension and you have taken up the Special Banking Option in New Zealand, your Special Banking Option account will be closed when your application for payment in Ireland is processed. This is because the Special Banking Option is only available for clients who reside in New Zealand. You will need to arrange with the overseas agency to have your payments made to your personal bank account. We suggest you arrange this prior to your departure from New Zealand.

    Applying from Ireland

    To apply for a New Zealand benefit or pension, contact the local branch of the Irish Department of Social Protection.

    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 (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 the Department of Social Protection of these changes. See below for contact details.

    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), the Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers or an Orphans Benefit.

    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 a 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 Ireland.
    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), Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers and Orphans Benefit

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

  • Getting Irish benefits or pensions in Ireland

    The Department of Social Protection decides who can receive Irish benefits and pensions and how much will be paid.

    The time you have resided in New Zealand after the age of 16 is treated as if you were making contributions to the Irish Social Insurance Fund during that time. This may mean that you meet the general criteria for the following Irish benefits and pensions:

    • State Pension (Contributory)
    • State Pension (Transition)
    • Widow's and Widower's (Contributory) Pension
    • Invalidity Pension
    • Guardians Payment (Contributory)
    • Bereavement Grant

    Can I receive extra assistance?

    Former New Zealand residents residing in Ireland may be able to receive supplementary assistance. For more information, talk to the Department of Social Protection. See below for contact details.

    How do I apply for Irish benefits and pensions?

    You should apply while in Ireland. For more information contact the Department of Social Protection. 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 months you resided in New Zealand since you turned 20.

    If you receive a benefit or pension from any country other than Ireland, this amount will be deducted from the maximum gross rate of your New Zealand payment. Certain Irish payments may also be deductible. Payments are deducted before assessing how much you are able to receive in Ireland. Contact Senior Services to discuss.

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

    New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension

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

    If you are paid a Veteran's Pension and you are under the age of 65 any other income you receive may affect the rate you are paid. This is because Veteran's Pension for those under the age of 65 is an income-tested payment.

    Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) or 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.

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

    Orphans Benefit

    You are paid the same amount that you would receive if you resided in New Zealand. Orphans Benefit is a non-taxable payment in New Zealand.

    Irish payments

    The Department of Social Protection decides how much you will be paid. This depends on your periods of Irish insurance and the time you have resided in New Zealand. For more information, contact the Department of Social Protection. 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 Irish 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 payment made to a New Zealand bank account, you must pay the cost of any transfers to Ireland.

    What tax will I have to pay?

    You may have to pay tax on New Zealand benefit or pension payments when you reside in Ireland. For more information about paying taxes in Ireland, contact the Irish 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 Ireland?

    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, Denmark, 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 in the United Kingdom. However you may be able to receive a United Kingdom benefit or pension.

    If you move from Ireland 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 Ireland will not affect your benefit or pension payments.

    If your temporary absence from Ireland is for more than 26 weeks, your payments will be affected from the date you leave Ireland. 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 Ireland or another country. You will need to tell Work and Income that you have returned to reside in New Zealand. 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 Ireland.

  • Getting a benefit or pension in New Zealand

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

    If you are paid a New Zealand benefit or pension, you must apply for any Irish 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 and 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 an Irish benefit or pension, you must tell Senior Services.

  • Getting Irish benefits or pensions in New Zealand

    The Department of Social Protection in Ireland decides who can receive Irish benefits and pensions and how much will be paid.

    If you or your partner have resided in Ireland, you may be able to receive:

    • State Pension (Contributory)
    • State Pension (Transition)
    • Widow's or Widower's (Contributory) Pension
    • Invalidity Pension
    • Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
    • Bereavement Grant.

    For more information about Irish benefits and pensions, contact the Department of Social Protection. See below for contact details.

    How do I apply for Irish benefits and pensions?

    You should apply before you leave Ireland.

    If you already reside in New Zealand, contact Senior Services. See below for contact details.

  • Getting New Zealand benefits or pensions in New Zealand

    Senior Services uses certain criteria to decide who can get a benefit or pension in New Zealand, 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 if you have resided in Ireland and:

    • you meet the New Zealand criteria for New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension
    • 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 Irish insurance may be able to be used for this)
    • you are ordinarily resident in New Zealand when you apply
    • you have been granted permanent residence in New Zealand by Immigration New Zealand, or you have New Zealand citizenship
    • you intend to reside in New Zealand
    • you are 65 or over (for New Zealand Superannuation)
    • you have the necessary service and disability qualifications (for Veteran's Pension).

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

    If you are under the age of 65 and receiving a Veteran's Pension, any other income you receive may affect the rate you are paid.

    For more information about New Zealand Superannuation, visit:

    For more information about Veteran's Pension, visit:

    The Living Alone Rate

    If you reside on your own and you receive New Zealand Superannuation you may eligible for the Living Alone Payment. There may be other circumstances where you may be eligible for the Living Alone rate. For more information contact Work and Income, see back page for contact details

    Partners

    You may choose to include your partner if they do not meet the critefria for either pension eg they are under 65 or do not meet the residency criteria.

    If you choose to include your partner, the married rate of New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension will be income tested. This means that the rate you are paid will depend on any income you and your partner have.

    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 have resided in Ireland and:

    • you meet the New Zealand criteria for a Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind)
    • you have been resident in New Zealand for at least two years continuously (your periods of Irish insurance may be able to be used for this)
    • you are ordinarily resident in New Zealand when you apply
    • you have been granted permanent residence in New Zealand by Immigration New Zealand, or you have New Zealand citizenship
    • you are 16 or over
    • you are permanently and severely restricted in your capacity to work because of a health condition, injury or disability or totally blind.

    For more information about the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind), refer to:

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

    You may be able to receive this if you have resided in Ireland and:

    • you meet the New Zealand criteria for the Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers
    • you have been resident in New Zealand for at least two years continuously (you and your late partner's periods of Irish insurance may be able to be used for this)
    • any overlapping periods can only be counted once
    • you are ordinarily resident in New Zealand when you apply
    • you have been granted permanent residence in New Zealand by Immigration New Zealand, or you have New Zealand citizenship
    • you are 18 or over or if you are under 18 years and were legally married or in a civil union
    • you are the parent of one or more dependent children whose other parent is deceased.

    For more information about Sole Parent Support for widows and widowers, refer to:

    Can I receive an Orphan's Benefit?

    You may be able to receive an Orphan's Benefit if you have resided in Ireland and:

    • you meet the New Zealand criteria for Orphan's Benefit
    • you are ordinarily resident in New Zealand when you apply
    • you have been granted permanent residence in New Zealand by Immigration New Zealand, or you have New Zealand citizenship
    • you are 18 or over
    • you are likely to look after the child for at least one year
    • you are the main caregiver of the child
    • you are not the child's natural or adoptive parent.

    For more information about receiving an Orphan's Benefit, refer to:

    Can I receive extra assistance?

    There are a number of supplementary benefits available in New Zealand. You may qualify for these depending on your circumstances.

    Accommodation Supplement

    The Accommodation Supplement helps with paying rent or board, or owning a home. The rate depends on the area you reside in and your accommodation costs.

    Disability Allowance

    If you have a disability you may be able to receive a Disability Allowance to help towards any extra costs such as regular doctor visits, medicines, extra clothes, food or travel.

    Family Tax Credit (formerly Family Support)

    If you care for dependent children, you may be able to receive Family Tax Credit. This depends on any other income you receive.

    Community Services Card and Super Gold Card

    If you reside in New Zealand and receive a benefit you may be entitled to a Community Services Card to help with health costs.

    If you are returning to New Zealand temporarily and you meet the entitlement criteria, you may be able to get a Temporary Community Services Card.

    If you reside in New Zealand and are 65 years or over, or under 65 and receiving a Veteran's Pension, or you have been included in your partners New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension, you will be eligible for a Super Gold Card. It gives access to discounts from a wide range of businesses nationwide and facilitates easy access to government entitlements and local authority services and concessions.

    I apply for New Zealand benefits or pensions?

    You should apply at a Work and Income office. To find out more, call Work and Income. See below for contact details.

    When you make an application for a benefit or pension in New Zealand, you need:

    • proof of your identity (passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate or drivers' licence)
    • your bank account details so that payments can be made to you (bank book, bank statement or deposit slip)
    • any other information that you think will be helpful.

    How much will I be paid?

    As a general rule, the amount you are paid is about equal to the New Zealand benefit or pension you would be paid if you resided all your life in New Zealand.
    Senior Services decide how much you will be paid based on certain criteria. Any benefit or pension similar to a New Zealand benefit or pension from another country including Ireland is usually deducted from your New Zealand payment.

    Other income you have may affect the amount paid to you if you are applying for an income-tested benefit.

    How is this done?

    This depends on how you choose to have your payment from Ireland made.

    How are payments made from Ireland?

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

    For more information about these payment methods, please visit:

    What tax will I have to pay?

    You may have to pay tax on your Irish payments in New Zealand if:

    • you are paid New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension, and
    • you are paid your Irish pension by the Direct Payment Method.
    • you took up the Special Banking Option part way through a tax year.

    This is regardless of whether your Irish pension is paid into a New Zealand or Irish bank account.

    Make sure you keep copies of all your banking records, as these may confirm your gross Irish pension payments required for tax purposes. You may also have to pay tax on the Christmas bonus.

    You may have to pay tax on any part of your Irish payment that exceeds the normal amount of New Zealand benefit payable if:

    • you are paid any New Zealand benefit or pension
    • you are paid your Irish payment by the Direct Payment Method
    • the rate of New Zealand benefit paid to you, when combined with your Irish payment is more than the normal amount of benefit.

    When I may not have to pay tax

    Generally, you do not have to pay tax on your Irish payments (excluding Christmas bonuses) in New Zealand if:

    • you are paid a New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension, and
    • you are paid through the Special Banking Option or
    • you are paid a New Zealand benefit or pension other than New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension, and
    • you are paid your Irish benefit or pension by the Direct Payment Method.

    You may need to pay tax on any Irish benefit or pension payments you received prior to choosing the Special Banking Option. You may also need to pay tax on your Christmas bonus.

    We recommend you discuss your tax liabilities with Inland Revenue (New Zealand).

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

    If you leave New Zealand temporarily you must advise Senior Services. You may continue to receive your benefit or pension but it may be paid at a different rate or not be paid at all depending on the length of time you are away and the country you are in.

    Note: If you only intend to travel overseas temporarily, please visit:

    If you move to another country, you may be able to continue to receive your New Zealand benefit or pension depending on what type of benefit or pension you are receiving and which country you move to.

    Advise Senior Services of your plans so there's less chance that you will be overpaid and required to make repayments later.

    Carrying out full-time voluntary humanitarian work

    If you go overseas temporarily to do full-time voluntary humanitarian work, you may be able to receive your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension for up to 156 weeks. You need to check with Work and Income before you go.

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

    If you return to Ireland temporarily, you must advise Senior Services before you leave New Zealand. You may be able to continue to receive your benefit or pension depending on what benefit or pension you are receiving and the length of time you are away.

    If you move back to Ireland, your benefit or pension may be suspended or cancelled, depending on what type of benefit or pension you are receiving and the length of time you are away. In certain cases, you can take your New Zealand benefit or pension payment with you, but the rate may change. You can apply to receive payments in Ireland before you depart New Zealand.

    Advise Work and Income of your plans so there's less chance that you will be overpaid and required to make repayments later.
    For more information about how leaving New Zealand may affect your benefit or pension payment, refer to Work and Income's brochures:

  • Legislation

    A copy of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity with Ireland) Order 1993 (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 Ireland, is my rate affected?

    Yes. New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension payments into Ireland 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 Ireland?

    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?

    The Department of Social Protection in Ireland decides who can receive Irish benefits and pensions 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 the Department of Social Protection or 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 the Department of Social Protection 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 the Department of Social Protection 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 Irish benefit or pension is higher than the New Zealand benefit or pension?

    If your Irish payment is paid by Direct Payment Method you will be paid your full Irish payment but not a New Zealand benefit or pension.

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

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

    If you are on the Special Banking Option, please talk to us about your options.

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

    You may take up to 26 weeks from leaving New Zealand 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 Ireland for benefit and pension purposes. If you don't arrive in Ireland within 26 weeks your payments will stop and you may have to pay back all New Zealand payments made from the time you left New Zealand.

    If you would like to travel for more than 26 weeks before going to reside in Ireland 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 Ireland 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 if you're getting a benefit or pension, visit:

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

    No. You will be paid from the date that Senior Services or the Department of Social Protection receives your application or the date of entitlement - whichever is later.

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

    Can I choose not to apply for an Irish 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 Ireland 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 Ireland, what should I do?

    If you begin to reside in Ireland 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.

    I have been residing in Ireland and am currently receiving payments of New Zealand Superannuation from Senior Services International. 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 Ireland for a period longer than 26 weeks, you will not be entitled to any payment of New Zealand Superannuation during your absence. Please contact Senior Services International to discuss this further.

  • Contacts

    For Republic of Ireland contact details go to our overseas pensions agency contact details page.

    If you write to the Department of Social Protection, you should include:

    • your full name
    • full address
    • date of birth
    • a list of all the countries you have resided in
    • your Irish 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 International Services