New Zealand pension claims

Cynthia would like clarification on how the increased working-life residency requirement for the Age Pension will affect those from New Zealand.

Q. Cynthia
I have a query about something that is not clearly explained anywhere. I have read that the 10 year residency rules to get a pension, can include time spent in New Zealand, but the following situation is not spelt out very well. The new rule for getting a full pension overseas says 35 years of Australian working-life residence. Does this include years spent working in New Zealand? If it doesn’t, then there will be a lot of Aussies, who have lived and worked in NZ, and cannot now get to the 35 years before they retire. Do you know what the result of this change will be?

A. Firstly, the rule regarding receiving an Age Pension overseas isn’t new, it has merely been amended. From 1 July 2014, any new claims for pension payments overseas will be subject to a 35-year working-life residency requirement, rather than the previous 25 years.

As is the case with most pension eligibility requirements, time spent living and working in a country which has an international social security agreement with Australia is counted. As New Zealand currently has such an agreement, anyone who has lived and worked there will have those years included in any claim for an Australian Age Pension.

For a full list of countries with which Australia has international social security agreements, click here.

Written by Debbie McTaggart