Social security agreement with Malta

Information if you get NZ Super or other NZ entitlements and are living in Malta or are living in New Zealand and get an pension or other entitlement from Malta.

This information is for:

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

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

  • The Social Security Agreement

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

    New Zealand

    • New Zealand Superannuation
    • Veteran's Pension

    Malta

    • Retirement Pension
    • Survivo's Pension
    • Non-contributory Old Age Pension

    The Agreement means that:

    • New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension can be paid to New Zealanders going to reside in Malta.
    • New Zealanders who reside in Malta may be able to use their New Zealand residence to help them meet the criteria for Maltese pensions.
    • When New Zealanders apply for a Maltese pension, they can apply for a New Zealand pension as well.
    • Former Maltese residents that now reside in New Zealand may be able to use their periods of Maltese contributions to meet the residential requirements for New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension.
    • When former Maltese residents apply for a New Zealand pension and may also qualify for a Maltese pension, they must apply for that Maltese pension as well.

    Note: If you have resided in Malta 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 will decide if this is required when you apply for your New Zealand benefit or pension.

    This document only applies to pensions covered by the Agreement

    Phrases used

    Senior Services International and Work and Income are services of the Ministry of Social Development Senior Services International assesses and pays a range of benefits and pensions, both within New Zealand and overseas. It also liaises with

    "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 are in a civil union with.

    The Maltese Department of Social Security is the equivalent of Senior Services International and Work and Income in New Zealand.

  • Getting a pension in Malta

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

  • Getting New Zealand pensions in Malta

    Senior Services International use certain criteria to decide who can receive a New Zealand pension in Malta 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 Malta 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 Maltese contributions 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 Malta or New Zealand when you apply
    • you intend to reside in Malta 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 single living alone rate

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

    Partners

    New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension paid into Malta 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 extra assistance?

    New Zealand supplementary benefits and allowances (such as the 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 Malta, you may be able to receive extra help from Malta. Talk to the Maltese Department of Social Security about this. See below for contact details.

    How do I apply for New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension?

    If you are living in New Zealand already, 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 International 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 Malta 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 New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's 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.

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

    Applying from Malta

    To apply for New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension, contact the Maltese Department of Social Security.

    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 International about any changes to your circumstances eg you marry or change address. You also need to advise the Maltese Department of Social Security of these changes. See below for contact details.

    Life certificates

    Senior Services International will send you life certificates if you receive New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension. Make sure you return your life certificate to Senior Services International promptly. Your 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 Malta.

    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.

  • Getting Maltese pensions in Malta

    The Maltese Department of Social Security decides who can receive Maltese pensions and how much will be paid.

    The time you resided in New Zealand may be able to be treated as periods of Maltese contributions. This means if you meet the general criteria, you may be able to receive:

    • Retirement Pension
    • Survivor's Pension
    • Non-contributory Old Age Pension

    How do I apply for Maltese pensions?

    You should apply while in Malta. For more information contact the Maltese Social Security Agency. See below for contact details.

    New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension

    The rate you are paid depends on the number of whole months you resided in New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 65, and your relationship situation.

    If you have your pension paid into an overseas bank account the amount you receive will change each month depending on the exchange rate used to convert your payments from New Zealand dollars to Euros.

    New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension are paid into Malta at a gross rate.

    Maltese payments

    The Maltese Department of Social Security 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 New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's 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 New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension payments made to an overseas bank account, Senior Services International 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 New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's 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 Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension payments when you reside in Malta. For more information, contact the Maltese tax authorities.
    • If your New Zealand Superannuation or your Veteran's 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 pension if I leave Malta?

    • If you move to another country, you may continue to receive your New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension depending on which country you move to.
    • New Zealand has social security agreements with Australia, Canada, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom Denmark. You will need to re-apply for your New Zealand 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 Malta to reside in a country which New Zealand does not have a social security agreement with, your New Zealand pension payments will stop.
    • If you visit another country, a temporary absence of up to 26 weeks from Malta will not affect your New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension payments.
    • If your temporary absence from Malta is for more than 26 weeks, your payments will be affected from the date you leave Malta. 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 New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension payments. See below for contact details.

    What happens to my New Zealand 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 Malta 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 Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension that you were getting in Malta.
  • 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 Malta.

    If you are paid New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension, you must apply for any Maltese 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 New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension.

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

  • Legislation

    A copy of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity with Malta) Order 2013 (the Agreement) can be found here on the New Zealand Legislation website:

  • Getting Maltese pensions in New Zealand - Questions and answers

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

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

    Will I continue to receive extra assistance from New Zealand (in addition to my New Zealand Superannuation or my Veteran's Pension) if I move to Malta?

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

    Who decides how much I will be paid?

    The Maltese Department of Social Security decides who receives a Maltese pension and how much will be paid. Senior Services International in New Zealand decide who can receive a New Zealand pension and how much will be paid.

    What happens to the information I provide Senior Services International?

    Any application forms you complete for New Zealand pensions may be compared with information held by the Maltese Department of Social Security and Senior Services International. Senior Services International checks your identity and residency status.

    Senior Services International 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, Veterans Affairs NZ, Kāinga Ora (used to be Housing New Zealand) and Immigration New Zealand. Senior Services International may pass this information on to the Maltese Department of Social Security as well.

    In certain circumstances, Senior Services International 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 New Zealand Superannuation or my Veteran's Pension affected if I owe money to the Maltese Department of Social Security or Senior Services International?

    If you owe money for an overpayment of a benefit or pension in New Zealand, it can be deducted from your New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension. Repayments can be negotiated.

    If you owe money to the Maltese Department of Social Security then you need to contact them directly to arrange repayment.

    What happens if I'm in New Zealand and my Maltese pension is higher than my New Zealand Superannuation or my Veteran's Pension?

    You will be paid your full Maltese pension but not New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension.

    If your partner is paid New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension, any excess amount from your Maltese pension over the maximum New Zealand rate will be deducted from their New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension.

    In some circumstances, your full Maltese pension may be deducted from your partner's New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension payment.

    I'm leaving New Zealand to reside in Malta, but would like to travel first. How is my New Zealand Superannuation or my Veteran's Pension affected?

    If you intend to live in Malta 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 Malta for pension purposes.

    If you would like to travel for more than 26 weeks before going to reside in Malta 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 Malta and begin to reside there, you will need to apply under the Agreement so that payment of your New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension 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 please refer to: NZ Superannuation and Veteran's Pension - going overseas

    Can I receive back-dated payments for New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension?

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

    Can I choose not to apply for a Maltese 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 Malta for more than 26 weeks while receiving payment of New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension overseas. I had the intention of returning to New Zealand at the end of my travels but have now decided to reside in Malta, what should I do?

    If you begin to reside in Malta 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 the Maltese Social Security Agency. See below for contact details.

    I have been residing in Malta and am currently receiving payments of New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension 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 Malta 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 Malta contact details go to our overseas pensions agency contact details page.

    If you write to the Maltese Department of Social Security you should include:

    • your full name, full address and date of birth
    • a list of all the countries you have resided in
    • your Maltese 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