If you’re approaching your 65th birthday, you could be about to get a nice gift from the government – a fortnightly payment called New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super).

But do you qualify, and how do you apply for it? We spoke to the Ministry of Social Development to get the information you need about the pension.

Do you qualify for NZ Super?

You will likely qualify to get NZ Super if all these apply to you:

  • You’re aged over 65.
  • You’re a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
  • You normally live in New Zealand at the time you apply.
  • You’ve lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since you turned 20, including five years since you turned 50.

Good news – you don’t have to be retired. You can still be working.

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How to apply

It’s best to contact the Ministry of Social Development at least three or four weeks before your 65th birthday, so you don’t miss out on any payments.

NZ Super payments aren’t backdated, so be sure to get in touch early to organise things.

You can apply online for a face-to-face appointment.

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What documents do you need?

You need to choose a tax code for your payments. If you need help choosing, call Inland Revenue or use their online tax code calculator. You’ll also need to bring your online application reference number, if you’ve applied online.

You’ll also need to bring three forms of identification – one of which needs to be at least two years old – to your appointment with the Ministry of Social Development.

These need to be original documents or certified true copies. 

Identification can include your birth certificate, passport, driver’s licence, firearms licence, or deed poll. They must include two documents that confirm your identity, for example, a marriage certificate, bank statement, phone or power account bill, or driver’s licence.

You’ll also need to bring bank account details, for example a bank statement, proof of any name change, and details of any overseas pension (which might affect how much you get from NZ Super).

If you have a spouse or partner, you’ll need to bring their identification, proof of any name change, and details of any overseas pension.

If they’re being included in your NZ Super payments, they’ll also need to fill out an online form and bring in other documentation. 

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NZ Superannuation payment rates

NZ Super is paid fortnightly on a Tuesday.

If you’re single, live alone, or with a dependent child, you could receive a maximum of NZ$801.74 (after tax) a fortnight.

If you’re part of a couple, and you both meet the criteria for NZ Super, you could receive a maximum of NZ$616.72 (after tax) a fortnight.

If you choose to include your partner in your payments, it might affect how much you get. 

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What if you’re living overseas?

If you receive NZ Super, you can move overseas, and you might be able to take your NZ Super with you, or some of it. How much depends on:

  • What country you go to.
  • How long you’re going for.
  • How long you’ve lived in New Zealand for.

What about the Veteran’s Pension?

If you served in the New Zealand Armed Forces on Qualifying Operational Service and are aged over 65, you might be eligible for a Veteran’s Pension.

Contact the Veteran’s Pension Centre on 0800 650 656 to find out how to apply or for more information.

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Published October 2018

We aim to make things about money easy to understand. To help us make this article reader friendly, we used The Write Plain Language Standard.

This information is a guide only. Contact the Ministry of Social Development on 0800 559 009 to talk about your individual circumstances. The information supplied is from the Ministry of Social Development, and is correct as at publication date. This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. We recommend you speak with a financial adviser.