Is a New Zealand pension covered by the Work Bonus?

Can a New Zealand pension be exempt under the Work Bonus?

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

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.



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    6th Nov 2017
    There's a real sting in the ass with this thing. Firstly you have no choice about applying for the NZ pension first, then the Australian pension tops it up. HOWEVER, the bastards classify your NZ pension part as INCOME. This has a crippling effect if your partner is also on Newstart as they cut the Newstart payment because of your NZ "Income". Totally unfair, but hey that's the Australian way eh ?
    6th Nov 2017
    Agreed, I missed this very important point in my post. But since when have Centre-link been Fair?
    6th Nov 2017
    There is nothing fair or equitable about our dodgy system compared to other more equitable countries. It's discriminatory to an amazing degree.
    6th Nov 2017
    I am in the same boat with a small part NZ pension and part Aus Pension.
    1. If you are eligible and don't apply Australia will cut you pension.
    2. Your Australian pension will be reduced $ for $.
    3. Aus Pension is non taxable, NZ Pension is Taxable.(If your total income is enough for tax)
    4. It's inconvenient as the amount you get from each changes every payment due to exchange rates and bank charges. So difficult to predict.
    5. NZ paid Monthly and Aus paid F/Nightly
    6th Nov 2017
    From Centrelink's website ...

    "Rates we use

    Normally the exchange rate we use is:

    a buying rate from the Commonwealth Bank
    available 5 working days before the 1st of each month
    For some currencies we get the rates from other banks.

    We update the exchange rates we use on the 1st working day of each month."
    6th Nov 2017
    Another of their deeming ( dreaming) fantasies.
    6th Nov 2017
    I am not sure if a part uk pension works the same way, I had to apply for a uk pension which I receive, it's not a huge ammount, I lose approx half the ammount I receive through a reduction in my Australian pension, I don't have a problem with this arrangement, I still receive a total larger pension than I would have received with just an Australian pension, the reduction in my Australian pension is also due to my assets, so I am not sure of the actual ammount I lose through the uk pension, but I believe it to be 50 cents in the dollar.
    6th Nov 2017
    The main difference between the NZ pension and the UK pension is that NZ you lose $ for $ and UK you lose 50c in the dollar.
    For tax you can claim an 8% deduction for the UK pension.
    Otherwise all the rest applies. Including fearlessfly's comments and My points 1 to 5.
    6th Nov 2017
    Yes it is really clever! The Australian Government is the winner. I receive apart UK old age pension that I topped up by sending $11,000, what a mistake that was. I pay 35% tax on 92% of it plus medicare levy (8% is allowed by ATO as a return of capital). Centrelink then reduce my part Aus pension by 50c in the dollar on the gross amount with no allowance for return of capital. Result is that the hard working Brit is providing foreign aid to Australia because every £100 they send me the Aus Government gain £81.74 and I get the rest. Who else pays 81.74% tax?
    I imagine the average Brit would be horrified if they knew. Perhaps I should write a letter to the Times and let them know.
    7th Nov 2017
    Yes the Australian Government is scaming the British tax payer and ripping off British migrants to this country . Was told when emigrating here that everyone gets the pension when you retire , then years on they change the rules and on top of that rip off the British pension scheme . I worked 22yrs in UK and 28yrs here in Oz and get more pension from UK than from here . No wonder UK wont increase our pensions each year , because Australia just reduces their pension to suit .

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