Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Improving pension portability

Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Minister for Social Development

5 April 2018


Improving pension portability to the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni says the Government’s intent to improve access to New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension for those looking to retire to the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau moved one step closer today.

Today, the Bill to amend the The Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) Legislation, introduced into Parliament on 28 March this year, had its First Reading.

“The changes will allow people applying for New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau, to be able to use residence in any of those places to count towards the requirement for five years residence over the age of 50,” Ms Sepuloni said.

Currently, the criteria for New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension is that a person must have been resident and present in New Zealand for 10 years after the age of 20, and for five years after the age of 50.

Ms Sepuloni says the changes will mean people who are eligible for New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension will be able to remain in these countries and contribute to the local economy without having to return to New Zealand just to qualify for their pension.

“This Bill responds to concerns that the current five years over 50 requirement is a disincentive for Cook Islanders, Niueans and Tokelauans to remain in their employment and to participate in their home communities after having lived in New Zealand when younger.

“It is expected that removing the five years residence in New Zealand over the age of 50 requirement will help boost economic development and human resource capacity by allowing highly skilled people to continue contributing to their communities in these Pacific islands.

“This change will not be restricted to citizens of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. All New Zealanders who qualify for New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension will be able to make use of the provision should they choose and be eligible to live in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau.

“This Government wants to ensure New Zealanders have as many options as possible as to where they spend their retirement. We also want to ensure that those countries and territories that have close constitutional ties with New Zealand are recognised and that their ongoing economic and social viability is supported.”

The Bill will be referred to the Social Services and Community Select Committee and the new policy is expected to apply from January 2019.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson+ Clark, And Russia’s FIFA World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark, which has been employed – time and again - by state agencies over the past decade, to spy on (and provide security against) ordinary New Zealanders engaged in lawful forms of protest. More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say! Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in urope for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Hit And Run: AG Gives Approval For Inquiry

Attorney-General David Parker has today announced a Government Inquiry will be held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation undertaken in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, ... More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages