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Overseas Pension Holders Deserve Justice

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader
31 JULY 2014

Overseas Pension Holders Deserve Justice

New Zealand First considers New Zealand's treatment of overseas pensions a travesty, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

Despite a universal and non-means tested NZ Super, one segment of the eligible population are being penalised through Section 70 of the retirement legislation, says Mr Peters.

“These people who have worked in countries such as the UK, Netherlands, Canada and Germany and who have contributed to a state pension are being treated as second-class citizens in respect of entitlement to NZ Super.

“The current rules are unfair to a large number of superannuitants who have their contributory overseas pensions confiscated from their NZ Super.

“People arrive at retirement age with income and assets from a variety of sources. Why then is only one group being penalised, in terms of entitlement to NZ Super, because they have a state pension from certain countries?” says Mr Peters

Section 70 affects about 65,000 migrants, most of whom have lived and worked in New Zealand for up to 30 years. However, the fastest growing group are baby boomer Kiwis now applying for their NZ Super, who spent some years working overseas, he says.

“Take for example a successful Kiwi who spent 12 of his younger years working in Germany. During his OE, he contributed 9 per cent of his income to the compulsory German pension scheme. Other than these 12 years, he has spent his entire life working in New Zealand. Now his entire contributory German pension is confiscated from his NZ Super - an amount equivalent to 90 per cent of NZ Super.

“This case is typical of the selective and discriminatory legislation being applied to NZ Super.” says Mr Peters.

The National Government insists on a gross double standard, he says.

“New Zealand First has repeatedly highlighted the gross injustice of Section 70 compared to migrants from non-state-pension countries who get full NZ Super after just 10 years residency in New Zealand.

“Those who enter under parent reunion have no requirement to contribute to the economy. This is equivalent to a lump sum gift of about $400,000 over a person’s average life expectancy. And their private savings are not touched.

“New Zealand First will make fair treatment of overseas pensions a key issue in the upcoming election.

“Last year the government voted down a review of overseas pensions at the select committee stage. We will support a change to Section 70 which will give all those so adversely affected by Section 70 a fair outcome,” says Mr Peters.

New Zealand First has a dedicated email, section70@nzfirstparty.org.nz for those affected by the deduction of their overseas pension from NZ Super.

ENDS


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