Retiring in New Zealand

Are you one of our overseas readers who would like to retire in New Zealand?


blue sky

If you are, the good news is that it’s possible. The bad news is that most people won’t qualify.

The criteria for retiring here can’t be written down simply in just a few lines; remember, the rules were written by government lawyers.

Since, thankfully, we’re not a government department, we’ll begin by making precisely the simplifications they won’t – but regardless of whether these simplifications make you smile or wince, if you’re serious about retiring here, you’ve GOT to read the small print.

Also make sure you’ve read our 12 Healthcare Must Knows article – you really do need to know about this. Also, check whether you can bring your pets.

The Simple Version:

You can retire to New Zealand if:

1. You have plenty of money

2. You have children here

3. You obtain permanent residence – you might achieve this, for example, as a skilled worker. People have obtained residence while in their 50s with a view to working here for a few years, then retiring.

Okay, that was the simple version.

If your only possible route is the third option, you’re now finished with this page. You need to look at the usual immigration channels, such as the Skilled Migrant Category.

Now there are just two options left. And we need to start going into more detail, so hang in there.

The Less Simple Version:

1. Temporary Retirement Category (plenty of money needed)

This is a two year visitor visa which is renewable. The main requirement is money, starting with the NZ$2,800 application fee.

If you apply for this visa, you must fulfill all of the following before you can be approved:

• be aged 66 years or over;

• invest NZ$0.75 million in New Zealand for two years, in an acceptable investment (see later under “Investment Details” for what qualifies as an acceptable investment);

• demonstrate ownership of NZ$0.5 million of maintenance funds and an annual income of NZ$60,000 at the time you apply;

• meet standard health and character requirements; and

• hold and maintain comprehensive travel and/or health insurance for the duration of your stay

If you succeed, you’ll be issued with a two year multiple entry visitor’s visa/permit which allows you to stay for two years, and travel in and out of New Zealand during that time.

You can re-apply for another visitor’s permit/visa under this category if you:

• continue to meet all the requirements above; and

• can demonstrate that you have maintained your travel and/or health insurance and your investment funds in an acceptable investment during the two year duration of your stay.

You may include your partner in your application. Dependent children cannot be included.

2. Parent Categories

If you have grown-up children living in New Zealand there are, somewhat confusingly, two different visas you could try for. These are The Parent Retirement Category and The Parent Category. We’ll consider these in turn.

The Parent Retirement Category – Plenty of Money Needed

A successful application allows you live permanently in New Zealand. To qualify in this category you must:

• Have an adult child who lives legally in New Zealand as a citizen or permanent resident, and

• Have no dependent children, and

• Invest NZ$1 million in an acceptable investment for at least four years – to find out what these are, see below under “Investment Details”, and

• Have NZ$0.5 million of settlement funds, and

• Have a minimum annual income of $60,000 when you apply, and

• Have good health, and

• Be of good character

About 3,600 places are available each year in this category.

The (Family) Parent Category

This is a permanent residence visa for parents of New Zealand citizens/residents who would like to join their children in New Zealand.

You need to be sponsored by an adult child who lives in New Zealand as a citizen or has lived in NZ for at least three years as a permanent resident.

You need to have an acceptable command of English – this means you need to pass at least two competencies of IELTS at Level 4 – or buy English language tuition.

The Parent Category visa operates on an expression of interest (EOI) basis. EOI’s go into a pool and there is a pool draw every three months.

Applicants must have no dependent children and must qualify as Tier One or Tier Two applicants.

Tier One Parents

Tier One applicants are given priority.

These applicants must:

• have a guaranteed lifetime minimum income of NZ$27,203 a year for a single person or NZ$39,890 a year for a couple, or

• bring at least NZ$500,000 in settlement funds to New Zealand, or

• have a sponsoring adult child who has an annual income of at least NZ$65,000, or NZ$90,000 when combined with their partner’s income.

Just to be clear: Tier One applicants DON’T have to pass a “centre of gravity” test.

The time taken to process this visa is estimated at 18 months.

Tier Two Parents

Tier Two applicants must:

• Have a sponsoring adult child who has an income of at least NZ$33,675 a year, and

• Any other children the applicant has must live outside the country in which the applicant lives. This is the “centre of gravity” test.

The time taken to process this visa is estimated at up to 7 years.

It’s a sobering point, but as of June 2013, there have never been any successful Tier 2 applicants.

Investment Details

Click the arrow to reveal which investments are acceptable for the Parent Retirement Category

An acceptable investment for the Parent Retirement Category:

1. is in one or more of the following:

• bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities, or

• bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX), or

• bonds issued by New Zealand firms with at least a BBB- or equivalent rating from internationally recognised credit rating agencies (for example, Standard and Poor’s), or

• equity in New Zealand firms (public or private), including managed funds, or

• bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks, or

• equities in New Zealand registered banks, or

• residential property development(s), or

• bonds in finance companies.

and:

2. is capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances and has the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy, and

3. is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency, and

4. has the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy, and

5. is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant laws in force in New Zealand, and

6. is not for the personal use of the applicant(s).

Okay, I’ve got that. I think I can get in. Will the New Zealand Government give me a pension?

Compared with most countries, the NZ Government is quite generous in terms of how little you need to do to qualify for a pension.

Superannuation Criteria

If you do become a permanent resident of New Zealand, the following applies:

• In order to qualify for New Zealand superannuation (a pension paid by the government) you must have lived in New Zealand legally for at least 10 years since you turned 20. Five of these years must be since you turned 50.

• Time spent overseas in certain countries may be counted for New Zealand Superannuation – New Zealand has social security agreements with Australia, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Jersey/Guernsey, The Netherlands and The United Kingdom.

• People from the UK, for example, can use time spent in the UK (UK National Insurance payments) to qualify for New Zealand Superannuation.

• If you’re from one of the countries listed above, you can download a NZ government guide to your eligibility for New Zealand superannuation.

• Superannuation is currently worth $21,336.64 gross a year if you’re single or $16,137.68 gross for each person in a married/civil union/de facto couple. (Figures for the 2013 – 2014 tax year. Check the lifestyle you’ll be able to afford with your retirement income.)

• Superannuation is part of your taxable income and the amount you are paid will be reduced by the impact of income tax paid at your normal rate.

• New Zealand Superannuation is maintained between 65% and 72.5% of average full-time net earnings.

• By law, you can work to any age you wish to in New Zealand.

• If you qualify for New Zealand Superannuation and work beyond the age of 65, you will receive both your pay and your NZ Superannuation payments.

• Any pension you get from an overseas government will probably be deducted from your NZ superannuation.

• Any pension you get from a former employer overseas will probably be paid in addition to your full NZ Superannuation.

Retiring to New Zealand

There are thirty questions from readers and answers about retiring in New Zealand on this page: Retiring to New Zealand.

Alternatively, there are more recent Qs & As below, where you can also ask a question or leave a comment.


Comments

  1. Hi , Both wife and i were born in NZ ,moved to Australia in 1968 Have now both retired in Aust and on pension paid from Aust centralink and part from nz. What is the situation if we were to move back to nz re pension .Also hold Australian citizianship.

    • Hi There,

      Both my wife and myself were born in nz , moved to Australia in 1986,have now retired and on pension paid from Australia centrelink and part from nz.
      What is the situation if we were to move back to nz ,re pension payments.also have Australia citizanship.
      aged 66 years my wife 69 years.
      Thanking you await your comments.

      • Hi Ross,

        Since you are already receiving NZ Super, Work and Income say

        ‘If you intend to return to New Zealand to live, please contact Senior Services – International as soon as possible to find out how your payments will change.’ From Australia their phone no is 1800 150 479

        There is a social security agreement between Australia and New Zealand. Under this agreement the total amount of NZ Super and Age Pension you receive will generally be similar to the amount of pension you would have received if you had spent all your life in New Zealand.

        There is more info about the social security agreement here .

  2. Craig Lawrence says:

    Hello, I am wondering if I qualify for a NZ old age pension at age 65. My situation will be the following: Receiving a Australian Defence Force Death and Retirements Benefit of approximately $Aust 20000 per annum, recieving rental income of $Aust 10000 per annum in Australia. Recieving a Department of Veteran Affairs disability pension of $Aust 5500 pa. Will I be able to recieve the pension at age 65 if I was to immigrate to NZ on turning 65? Will the monies received in Australia affect or cut into the NZ old age pension. I have lived in Australia since birth in 1955? My intention is the purchase a home in which to live in NZ, but will travel overseas extensively each year when its winter in NZ. Is there a qualifying period I must complete as a resident of NZ beforehand? Thanks

    • Hi Craig,

      Australians moving to New Zealand will generally qualify for a NZ Super pension as there is a social security agreement between the two countries. Time spent in Australia and the UK will ‘count’ towards the number of NZ resident years required to qualify for NZ Super.

      To qualify for NZ Super you must 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 (you can use time spent living in Australia or UK to count towards this)

      NZ Super is not asset or means tested but social security pensions from other countries may affect the payments.

      Work and Income have a Senior Services International team that you can contact by phone from Australia on 1800 150 479 to advise you further.

  3. Hi,

    I and wife are both 60. We’re semi-retired Australian citizens, with a reasonable private superannuation. We’re considering retiring to NZ in a year or two. We most likely won’t need a government pensions. What’re our options?

    • Sue rawhiti says:

      I am an Australian citizen born in the UK. I am 59 and have lived in Australia since I was 3. My husband was born in NZ he is 63 and has worked and lived in Australia since he was 25. We would like to relocate to NZ in retirement and buy a house. We have super and we will qualify for the Australian pension. My husband has a lot of family in NZ including a daughter. Regards Sue

  4. what is the longest period of time an american can stay in new zealand? would it be possible tonstay 6 months at a time. we have the finances and would rent. we have a home in canada and the us and do enjoy new zealand. how long and how often would we be allowed to stay. thank you s lee curtis

  5. We have a son living in New Zealand and has permanent residency and a daughter living in Australia and no other dependants in the UK. We are due to retire in 8 years and would like to move to NZ to live with our son and family. When is the best time for us to apply for a parental retirement category visa? Looking at the information given we think we would be eligible for both tiers

    • Hi,

      Under the revised parent category visa, there have been two pool selections and only tier one applicants have been selected in both cases. Details of the selections are on this page (in the comments):

      I suggest you keep an eye on the selections made every few months and use that to help you decide the best option for you.

  6. Hi

    I am here in New Zealand working in a full time sponsorship, my father is 63 and wants to move to NZ to be with me, he is fit and active and happy to work. Is their anyway i can make this happen?

    • Hi Tom,

      Depending on your and your father’s circumstances, it certainly is possible but without more details it’s not possible to say any more.

      A number of our forum members have been successful in obtaining parent visas and it’s a great place to talk about your options with people who have negotiated the process successfully. Here’s the forum link.

  7. Philip Graham Tilson says:

    Hi

    Iam a New Zealand citizen of 68 in receipt of a UK State Pension but I intend to retire to New Zealand . I have more than the 10 years residency in New Zealand to qualify for New Zealand Superannuation but have resided and worked in Abu Dhabi since the age of 50. Is it possible to exchange the UK State Pension for New Zealand Superannuation on returning to New Zealand.? The other option is to have the UK State Pension paid in New Zealand for 5 years until I have qualified for New Zealand Superannuation.

    • Hi Philip,

      Work and Income says that:

      ’If you reside in New Zealand or intend to, you may qualify for benefits or pensions from both the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

      If you are paid a New Zealand benefit or pension, you must apply for any United Kingdom 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 pension payments receive will be similar to the amount you would have been paid if you spent all your life in New Zealand.

      Can I receive New Zealand Superannuation?

      You may be able to receive New Zealand Superannuation if you have resided in the United Kingdom and:
      • you meet the New Zealand criteria for New Zealand Superannuation
      • 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 United Kingdom residence and/or contributions 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.’

  8. Sally Maxton says:

    Hi
    My family moved to Australia in 1972 when I was 17.

    My parents have been back to NZ many times & even for work stints (self employed), owned property ect.

    Now at age 57 & having worked here in Australia all my working life except for a stint working in Queenstown NZ-
    Mum (aged 83) & I wish to move ‘back home’ to NZ. I will be working when I get back there.

    Is my Mum entitled to the NZ pension? she is currently a recipient of a Veteran Affairs Pension (white card) Dad was in the NZ army.

    Am I entitled to the Old Age pension when I reach the required age?

    Mum & I both have dual citizenship.

    We look forward to your reply.

    Thank you.

    Sally M

    • Hi Sally,

      There is a social security agreement between Australia and New Zealand which says:

      ‘If you live in New Zealand or intend to, you may qualify for a benefit or pension from both New Zealand and Australia.

      Once your applications are processed, you may be paid benefits or pensions made up of payments from both New Zealand and Australia eg what you are paid may be made up of an Australian Age Pension and a New Zealand Superannuation payment.

      When this happens the total amount you receive will generally be similar to the amount you would have received if you had spent all your life in New Zealand.’

      You can contact Work and Income Senior Services International on 1800 150 479 who are able to advise you in detail on your entitlements if you were to return to New Zealand.

  9. Brian Burrows says:

    Hello,

    I worked full-time as a teacher in NZ in 1974 and am trying to determine whether I have any pension or superannuation entitlements from that time. I know that any such entitlements will be small, but small amounts add up!

    Thank you,
    Brian Burrows

  10. Jason Ulyatt says:

    Hello,
    I am looking into weather or not my wife and I will receive the NZ pension. I am a 44 year old NZ citizen currently living in the USA. I left NZ when I was 30 and am married to a 46 year old USA citizen. We are planning to eventually move to NZ and weather we do or do not qualify for the NZ pension will have an affect on when (or if at all) we move to NZ.

    Many thanks for your time.
    Jason Ulyatt

    • Hi Jason,

      There is currently no social security arrangement with the USA and New Zealand so you’ll need to meet the standard rules for getting a New Zealand benefit or pension. These are:
      You may be able to get New Zealand Superannuation if you:
      • are aged 65 or over
      • are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
      • normally live in New Zealand at the time you apply.

      You must also have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since you turned 20. Five of those years must be since you turned 50.

      For more detailed information you can contact senior services international on + 64 4 978 1180 or email international.services@msd.govt.nz

    • Mike Greenawalt says:

      Jason -

      You did not say whether you are a US citizen. If not, then I recommend you become one. If you are a US citizen, you will be eligible to receive your US Social Security retirement benefit paid direct to you in NZ. Check out what that looks to be in $$. It may well be much larger than the NZ pension, and you can just not bother. US Social Security payments are not taxed in NZ.

      But you cannot manage to get the US Social Security AND the NZ pension both. That.just.won’t.happen.

      My wife is a native-born Kiwi, and she got me permanent residence as a family member. You can do that for your wife, too. Much easier than the other options for older folks to move to NZ.

  11. Peter Vernon says:

    I am an Australian citizen and will retire shortly. I will be eligible for the full Australian Old Age Pension. I already own land (section) in New Zealand and hope to build and retire there. What are the criterion for Australian citizens wishing to retire to New Zealand? Can I bring my full Australian pension with me once I start receiving here while in Australia? Are character references required?

    • Hi Peter,

      There is a social security agreement between Australia and New Zealand. Usually the total amount of pension you will receive will be similar to the amount you would have received if you had spent all your life in New Zealand.

      Once your applications are processed, you may be paid benefits or pensions made up of payments from both New Zealand and Australia.

      Centrelink in Australia decides who can receive an Australian benefit or pension in New Zealand and how much can be paid.

      Here is more information about the social security agreement .

      To enter New Zealand you will need to be of ‘good character’. No references are required but you will need to sign a declaration that you are of good character on your arrival card when you enter New Zealand.

  12. Francis Youett says:

    I am a British citizen and have worked just over 2 years in New Zealand. My UK pension manager has reccomended me to inquire what New Zealand pension entilement do I have. I still have a savings bank account with New Zealand Bank. Worked from July 2002 – September 2004 as a RN, New Zealand

    • Hi Francis,

      New Zealand benefits and pensions are not paid into the United Kingdom. However the time spent in New Zealand may count towards your required years for the UK State pension.

  13. My son and his wife are moving to New Zealand next year and have ask to come and retire out there But I have my 88year old mother living with me would I be able to bring her with us

  14. Jim Lever says:

    I am a UK national looking to retire to NZ in approx. 7 years time. I am fairly certain I could qualify for a parental visa sponsored by my son who has lived in NZ for 5 years.
    I have consequently submitted an EOI form under tier 1. Should I be invited to sumit a visa request is their any time limits regarding when I must use this visa and reside permentantly in NZ ? I have applied early as I wish to buy a property in NZ prior to retirement.

    • Hi Jim,

      You could ask in our forum as several of our members have gone through the parent visa process recently and they will probably have the most up to date information.

      Alternatively you could contact NZ immigration directly.

      There are no restrictions on non-residents purchasing a standard residential property in New Zealand. The only exception is if the property is classified as being “sensitive land” and this may be the case for some farms, lifestyle properties or waterfront homes.

  15. I immigrated to NZ in 1969 on a permanant visa. I was 15 at the time. i left in 1970. Is my visa still valid or not?

  16. Hi

    I am 73 years old, a citizen and a permanent resident of New Zealand, entitled to receive a NZ pension . I would like to spend the rest of my life in Britain. I have the following questions:

    – can I settle in the UK?

    – will I also receive State Pension in the UK?

    – what type will my stay be considered (for example: permanent resident)?

    – will I be on a par with the British people in order to be entitled to take full advantage of

    social and health care?

    Thanks

    Stan

  17. Bernard Kermack says:

    Hello,
    My inquiry is based around my mother who at 84 years young may wish / has expressed a desire to move back to NZ. My Father ( deceased ) and My Mother immigrated to NZ from The UK in 1964/5 and were granted citizenship to NZ. They were respectively 35 and 36 years old. They both worked , up until 1984/85 when they moved to Australia to live. After a short time of working ,for themselves, they were granted Australian citizen ship. I am unsure whether they surrendered the NZ citizenship or not,but I expect this was so.

    My Mother receives a DVA pension , because my father served in Korea with the UK armed forces and gets a small supplementary pension from the UK as part of her income.
    Would my Mother be eligible for any sort of pension under current legislation in NZ with any / if any bipartisan agreement as her situation is as described with her Australian situation , if she chose to move back and live her days out , with support from surviving family?

    Thank you for your consideration

    Bernard

    • Hi Bernard,

      New Zealand has a reciprocal social security pension agreement with Australia.

      In general terms this means that the total amount state pension you receive will generally be similar to the amount of NZ Super you would have received if you had spent all your life in New Zealand.

      Here are the general rules to receive a NZ Super pension from Work and Income:

      ‘Can I receive New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension?
      You may qualify for either of these in New Zealand if you have lived in Australia and/or New Zealand and:
      • you are 65 or over
      • you qualify for the Australian Age Pension
      • you are in New Zealand when you apply
      • you intend to remain in New Zealand for at least one year or have lived in New Zealand for at least six months
      • you have lived in Australia for a period of at least 12 months between the ages of 20 and 65, including six continuous months
      • you have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since you turned 20, with five years since the age of 50 (you can use time spent living in Australia to count towards this)
      • you have the necessary service and disability qualifications (for Veteran’s Pension).’

      You can also contact Work and income International Services on 1800 150 479

  18. Walter Berger says:

    I have visited New Zealand repeatedly, always for at least a month at the time. It’s a country where I love to spend time. Now, as my retirement approaches, I checked under what conditions I would be able to retire there. I have no family links to New Zealand.

    However, the conditions that I would have to meet to retire in New Zealand are prohibitive. I don’t quite have that kind of money, and even if I had, I would never accept these conditions, just because they are both outrageous and silly.

    I mean, what is the concern of any country when it accepts foreign retirees? The potential costs of medical treatment and care. Of course, there are insurances for that! In the country where I live now, Switzerland, they even have comprehensive insurances that cover the costs in foreign countries. I would of course be happy to pay for this (even though it IS expensive). I would also be prepared to put, say, 100.000 dollars into an account that I cannot touch, for “emergencies”. I would even think it okay if I had to buy my own home within 6 months of arriving in New Zealand.

    Retirees like me just spend money, money they get from abroad. They don’t take anyone’s job. Isn’t that a pretty good deal already? Why should I be foced to invest 750.000 dollars into something I probably would never invest into otherwise? AND have another half million at hand, just in case?

    I won’t retire in New Zealand. The conditions are undignified, and I am not stinkingly rich.

  19. Danie Lotter says:

    Hi,
    Both my wife and I came to New Zealand in 2007 from South Africa. We both got permanent residents, we will apply for citizenship in July 2013. If we moved to Australia will we be able to get retirement income from New Zealand, if we retire?

    • Hi Danie,
      There is a social security agreement between New Zealand and Australia that determines your entitlement to NZ Super and the Australian Age pension. In general, if you move to Australia, you may get payments from both New Zealand and Australia. The total amount you receive will be similar to the amount you would have received had you spent all your life in Australia.

      Regarding NZ Super, Work and Income say:

      ‘Can I receive New Zealand Superannuation?

      You may be able to receive this in Australia if:
      • 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 (you can use time spent living in Australia to count towards this)
      • you have lived in New Zealand or Australia continuously for one year since age 20
      • you are an Australian resident (generally, this means that you must intend to remain in Australia for at least one year or have been living in Australia for at least 26 weeks)
      • you are in New Zealand or Australia when you apply
      • you are 65 or over’

      For more information, you can contact Work and Income International Services on 0800 777 227

  20. Hi,
    my wife and i have worked in Aussie for the last 12 years and have 3.5 years left until i turn 60,Which is when i wanted to retire??We still own a house in NZ and plan on building another to retire in and sell the other,My question is do we have to live in NZ for five years and self fund for those years until i reach 65,We do have super put away and have a son still there,We are not Citizens or residents of Aussie as we were to late for the cut off but Kiwis.Or can i still work in Aussie as FIFO but live in NZ and that counts as part of the 5 years,

    • Hi Mike,

      As you are a Kiwi you are likely to qualify for NZ Super when you reach 65 if you are living in NZ at that time.

      NZ rules say that you must have lived in NZ for 5 years since the age of 50 to qualify for NZ Super. However because there is a social security agreement between NZ and Australia, time spent in Australia counts towards this.

      The terms of the agreement mean that the total amount you receive will generally be similar to the amount you would have received if you had spent all your life in New Zealand.

      From WINZ:

      You may get New Zealand Superannuation if you:
      • are aged 65 or over
      • are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
      • normally live in New Zealand at the time you apply.
      You must also have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since you turned 20. Five of those years must be since you turned 50.

      Time spent overseas in certain countries and for certain reasons may be counted for New Zealand Superannuation

      You can contact Work and Income on 1800 150 479 for specific information tailored to your circumstances.

  21. My mother was born in NZ and was an NZ citizen and our family there since 1820, my parents met during the war and i was born in america, but my sister was born in NZ, I had lived as a child there for over 9 years and would like to retire there with my wife (she is an american also) we are financially secure and I have much family there. But we do not meet the finical requirements, we have savings of almost 3/4 million u.s. and income producing property here as well as stocks and SS. Over 4K a month. Is it possible for us to retire there?

  22. Hi there

    I have lived in NZ for 12 years, UK born but have citizenship here. My father who is 70 this year and lives in the UK is looking to move here as he is now single. He has UK and private pensions which I am assuming he can still receive here? His main concern is how much the health system will cost him here compared to the UK and if he can afford to move. I have been trying to find out if this is comparable regarding health and pensions but have found no joy. Can you clarify for me please? Thankyou in advance.

  23. Sarah C Coy says:

    I am a NZ citizen aged 71, married to an Australian in 1965, and have lived in Australia since. I am now single and am returning to NZ to live in Marlborough where I grew up, having purchased a property and become a ratepayer since July 2013. I shall return to NZ as soon as I have sold my property here, which is currently on the market.
    Centrelink has revised my (joint Social Security agreement) pension accordingly, and as of 9/10/2013, I have been notified today, I will receive a monthly payment of $17.73.
    Please advise my position henceforth regarding a NZ pension, and/or any action I should take?. Many thanks.

    • HI Sarah,

      Australians moving to New Zealand will generally qualify for a NZ Super pension as there is a social security agreement between the two countries. Time spent in Australia will ‘count’ towards the number of NZ resident years required to qualify for NZ Super.

      The social security agreement between Australia and New Zealand says:

      ‘If you live in New Zealand or intend to, you may qualify for a benefit or pension from both New Zealand and Australia.

      Once your applications are processed, you may be paid benefits or pensions made up of payments from both New Zealand and Australia eg what you are paid may be made up of an Australian Age Pension and a New Zealand Superannuation payment.

      When this happens the total amount you receive will generally be similar to the amount you would have received if you had spent all your life in New Zealand.’

      You can contact Work and Income Senior Services International on 1800 150 479 who are able to advise you in detail on your entitlements when you return to New Zealand.

  24. My family are NZ citizens working in Australia, we have been citizens in New Zealand since 2009. When we return to NZ to retire, we still have a son and a house in NZ, will we be able to get pensions and/or any other allowances?

    Thank you

  25. Jeanette Hardman says:

    My husband and I are New Zealander’s who have been working overseas for the past 20 years in Hong Kong and Thailand. We plan to retire to NZ in about 18 months. We will be 61 and and 63 years old. We realize we have to live in NZ 5 years before we are eligible to receive the pension.
    Question 1: During the 5 years as a resident, is there a rule to the amount of days, weeks, or months are we able to leave NZ for holidays during a year?
    Question 2: Can one or both of us leave NZ during the 5 years for say 2 months and work? Would this 2 months be added to the 5 years?
    Thanks,
    Jeanette

  26. Hi
    I immigrated to New Zealand (6 years old) in 1967 with my parents, I am a New Zealand citizen, schooled and worked in New Zealand until 1986, left for Australia in 1986 and have worked here since. I am married to a New Zealander own property in New Zealand and want to purchase another property. We wish to return to New Zealand in 2020 at age 60. Would I qualify for the Pension at age 65 and any benefits entitled. I would assume that since the age of 20 I had lived in NZ for 5 years and return at age 60 would count the 5 years from 60 to 65 add up to the 10 years and that the 5 years from 60 to 65 count for the 5 years after 50?
    Thanks, Jeff.

    • Hi Gory,
      You may be entitled to a NZ Pension if you retire in New Zealand.
      Generally speaking your state pension is likely to be made up partly from the Australian Age Pension and partly from NZ Super. When this happens the total amount you receive will generally be similar to the amount you would have received if you had spent all your life in New Zealand.
      You can read more about it here.

      New Zealand Work and Income provide information about qualifying for NZ Super when you are living overseas. They have an International Services team that specialises in paying New Zealand benefits and pensions overseas. You can contact them on Ph: + 64 4 978 1180 or visit their website for full contact details.

  27. Joannes says:

    I was born in The Netherlands and immigrated to NZ in 1975 and was granted permanent residency and so have worked in the past 39 years. I am will be 65y in three years time. Am I entitled to a NZ pension or is it a dutch one and what about my wife whom is a NZer?. Heard she will be penalised due to me still being a dutch citizen and wont recieve her full NZ entitlement. Is this true?

What say you?
Please do not ask us for immigration/visa advice - we cannot respond to such requests.

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