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Thread: New Zealand Superannuation is it yours when you retire???????????

  1. #1
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    Dec 2009
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    Angry New Zealand Superannuation is it yours when you retire???????????

    coming to New Zealand so many years ago we thought we had checked out everything there was to know about moving here - houses - jobs - education - health system - social welfare system !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but we didnt look at this too closely - and got the shock of our lives when we retired or were about to retire at 65 - PENSIONS - State tax funded ones - your own personal contributory ones - your own superannuation funds - get a copy of the Social Security Act 1964 and read it - look at S.69g and S.70 -

    Retirement pensions are very important to all working people as when we stop working we look to what we have saved both personal and what we have paid in taxes into our pension funds - New Zealand Superannuation a universal entitlement for every person living in New Zealand reaching 65 years of age and being resident here for 10 years or more - all fine and great - you paid your taxes portion of your tax was paid into the NZ Super fund for your retirement pension??????????? well that is what you thought was happening..................but if you have any retirement savings anywhere else in the world ..............better check ............because you will be required to live on your own savings .........and your tax funded NZ Super retirement pension WILL NOT BE PAID TO YOU.........it will be confiscated...................do you believe me...............well check it out here is a web site www.nzpensionabuse.org there are others .......Google nz pensions and see what comes up.
    Therese - Wellington

  2. #2
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    My husband wrote about this in an old thread:
    http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread....hlight=pension

    He thinks its very bad policy so would commiserate. It's something we take into account in our calculations now when considering immigrating (as he's 54). It's a claw-back that's good to know about when planning for retirement. Sorry it caught you by surprise.

  3. #3
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    i knew this, its the same if you contribute to the Kiwisaver everything that you save gets deducted from your superannuation, so really only any point in saving if you Know you can save more than you would otherwise be entitled to (not that i'm encouraging anyone NOT to save for pension as you cannot guarantee that superannuation will still exist when you get to pension age)

  4. #4
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    Good to know. I am not near retirement, but I am required by my employer to put 2% of my income into a kiwi saver or the like account. So basically they are stealing my money as I don't plan to retire here?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eassae View Post
    Good to know. I am not near retirement, but I am required by my employer to put 2% of my income into a kiwi saver or the like account. So basically they are stealing my money as I don't plan to retire here?
    So why didn't you just opt out?

    An employee who is automatically enrolled has eight weeks (on or after day 14 and on or before day 56) from starting their new job to decide if they want to stay with KiwiSaver, or to opt out.
    Ian

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Therese View Post
    ...
    Retirement pensions are very important to all working people as when we stop working we look to what we have saved both personal and what we have paid in taxes into our pension funds - New Zealand Superannuation a universal entitlement for every person living in New Zealand reaching 65
    years of age and being resident here for 10 years or more - all fine and great - you paid your taxes portion of your tax was paid into the NZ Super fund for your retirement pension??????????? well that is what you thought was happening...
    Hi, Therese and welcome to the forum.

    For those of us who are a bit thick, could you tell us a bit more please...

    The way that I understand it is that if you have a state pension from an overseas country then you have to claim that pension (why wouldn't you?) and this is taken into account when you claim the NZ superannuation pension i.e. you basically get the same amount of pension as any other kiwi, just that part of it is from the overseas pension and the rest is made up from NZ govt.

    Is this not the case, is there something else that we should be aware of?

    Which country are you originally from?

    BTW, for those that don't know you can read all the legislation from http://www.legislation.govt.nz/

    Ian

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW99 View Post
    So why didn't you just opt out?
    Does anyone know of any drawbacks from opting out of kiwi saver? If you do decide to opt out, is it just a matter of notifying your employer that you want to opt out?

    And, on a related issue, I seem to remember a recent legal challenge to the rules 'freezing' the index-linking of the UK state pensions for those living in NZ / Australia to bring them in line with those living in abroad but still within the EU (who still receive the increase). Does anyone know what stage this is up to?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW99 View Post

    ... The way that I understand it is that if you have a state pension from an overseas country then you have to claim that pension (why wouldn't you?) and this is taken into account when you claim the NZ superannuation pension i.e. you basically get the same amount of pension as any other kiwi, just that part of it is from the overseas pension and the rest is made up from NZ govt.

    Is this not the case, is there something else that we should be aware of? ...
    This is correct. And yes, I think there is probably something many are not aware of but should be unless the are single.

    Any „excess“ overseas pension, i.e. the proportion exceeding the amount of NZ superannuation a person would get if they had no overseas pension, is counted against their partner’s/spouse’s NZ superannuation entitlement. Their other half’s NZ superannuation gets reduced by that excess amount. In a worst-case scenario a person’s NZ superannuation entitlement can get cancelled out completely if their partner’s/spouse’s overseas pension is double the NZ rate.

    So even if one partner has lived and worked all or most of their life in NZ, has paid their taxes and fulfilled the age and residency requirements for NZ superannuation, they can end up getting nothing just because they happen to be living with the “wrong” partner.

    This direct deduction policy of a partner’s/spouse’s entitlement is not widely know – it’s in the “small print” as it were. It has been a nasty surprise to many mixed couples, especially in constellations where one partner is a Kiwi to whom it had never occurred that their “universal” superannuation is in fact means-tested through the back door by using their partner’s pension as a basis of calculation. Had they chosen a partner who has not worked overseas and, as in most cases, made part-contributions to a government-administered pension scheme, they would have been better off.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW99 View Post
    So why didn't you just opt out?
    Ian
    As I said in my post I am required by my employer to contribute to a retirement plan at least 2% either to kiwi saver or the like or a government run program.
    Last edited by eassae; 18th December 2009 at 09:06 PM.

  10. #10
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    To be clear, then we're talking here about state pensions only, and any private pension funds are excluded from this? Ie any NZ held or UK held private pensions would not effect the pension paid in NZ?

    Whilst it may be a nasty surprise, then the BASIC pension is actually more a benefit to ensure that everyone has a base income that allows them to survive in their old age. Private pensions that people have contributed to outside of any basic state scheme are to allow people to retire with a higher income / standard of life. My reading of the above is that these private pots, wherever in the world they are based aren't included in the calculation.

    What has not been discussed here I don't think is eassae's question about how pension contributions made in NZ would apply to someone who is overseas when they retire. I'm guessing that due to the many diffferent schemes, and the policies for each potential 'end' country, then that's more likely to be something that you need to seek specialist individual advice on.

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