Will a NZ payment reduce my Age Pension?

Centrelink has advised Philip to apply for a New Zealand pension, and he’s unsure how this will affect his Age Pension payment.

Q. Philip
I recently retired and received a part Age Pension, as my wife still works. Years ago, I worked in New Zealand for a period of 12 years, and now Centrelink has sent me forms to apply for a pension from there, which is fine by me. My question is: will that small payment from New Zealand be a Work Bonus type payment or will Centrelink deduct that amount from my Australian Age Pension? 

A. Australia has an International Social Security Agreement with New Zealand, and this means that you are generally entitled to pension payments from both countries.

The rate you will receive is calculated in accordance with the agreement and, generally, when the two payments are added up, they should equal the amount you would receive if you had lived in one country all your life. You can find out more about the agreement between Australia and New Zealand at dss.gov.au

Therefore, the amount of pension you receive is unlikely to change. The result will be that one part of your pension will be paid by the New Zealand Government and the other part by the Australian Government.

Regarding the Work Bonus, the only income that can be included under this scheme is that which is earned from work, director’s fees and paid leave while still employed.

Related articles:
Will I be eligible for the Work Bonus?
Claiming your pension overseas

Written by Debbie McTaggart


Will I be eligible for the Work Bonus?

The Work Bonus enables older workers to supplement their Age Pension.