Changes to NZ Super and Veteran’s Pension payments

10 August 2020.

From 9 November 2020, the Government is making changes to NZ Super and Veteran’s Pension. The changes aim to modernise superannuation in New Zealand.

What’s changing

From 9 November:

  • People getting NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension can't apply to include their partner in their payments.
  • Partners' overseas pension will no longer affect your NZ Super or Veteran's Pension payments.

If you qualify for NZ Super or Veteran's Pension before 9 November, you can still apply to include your partner in your payment until 8 November.

Changes for partners

Currently, if you get NZ Super or Veteran's Pension and have a partner who doesn’t qualify, you can choose to include them in your payments. However, if you and your partner get over a certain amount, it may not be to your financial advantage to include them in your payment.

From 9 November 2020, if you get NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension and have a partner who doesn’t qualify, you won’t be able to include them in your payments. Instead, your partner will be able to apply for other kinds of assistance.

If your partner is already included in your payments

If your partner is included in your NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension payment before 9 November, this change won’t affect you. You’ll both continue getting your payments unless your circumstances change, for example:

  • your income goes above the cut-off point, or
  • you decide to remove your partner from your payment.

We’ll write to you over the next few months to explain how this works for you.

If you remove your partner from your payments

If you decide to remove your partner, you won’t be able to include them in your payments again from 9 November 2020.

If this happens, we’ll talk with both of you about your options and how we may be able to help.

If you’d like to include your partner in your payment

If you qualify for NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension before 9 November, you can still apply to include your partner in your payment until 8 November. Any income you or your partner earn could affect the amount you get. Find out about the income limits for couples with a partner included.

If you’d like to do this, you can contact Seniors Services on 0800 552 002.

They’ll talk with both of you about your situation and other ways they may be able to help if your partner can’t be included in your payment.

Changes to overseas pension deductions

Currently, if your partner gets an overseas pension, we may make deductions from your NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension payment. It depends on the amount of their overseas pension and the amount of their New Zealand benefit or pension.

From 9 November 2020, we’ll no longer make deductions from your NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension because of your partner’s overseas pension. This recognises you as an individual with your own entitlement to superannuation.

Deductions will continue to apply if:

  • you have a non-qualifying partner included in your payment, or
  • your partner gets a benefit or other payments from us, for example Jobseeker Support.

If your partner already gets an overseas pension

We’ll adjust your payments for you. You won’t have to do anything else.