‘Golden Years OE' gets the green light

  • Paula Bennett
  • John Carter
Senior Citizens Social Development and Employment

The Ministers for Social Development and Employment and Senior Citizens have welcomed the passage of legislation granting greater freedom to superannuitants.

The Social Assistance (Payment of New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension Overseas) Amendment Bill has passed in Parliament this afternoon.

The new law will make it easier for superannuitants and veteran's pensioners to live and travel overseas, by revamping the overseas payment policy that's been in place since 1990.

Ministers Paula Bennett and John Carter say the National Government is committed to ensuring older New Zealanders get the freedom they deserve in their retirement.

"Older Kiwis are more active than ever before. After a lifetime of paying taxes, they deserve the right to head off on an OE in their golden years and take their entitlement with them," Paula Bennett says.

A new payment rate means a superannuitant or veteran's pensioner will be able to receive up to the full rate of their entitlement, depending on how long they've lived in New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 65 years.

John Carter says those spending time outside New Zealand during that period won't be penalised.

"If someone serves time in the armed forces, receives special medical treatment or training abroad, works in an embassy or volunteers overseas they'll still be counted as residing in New Zealand under the payment formula.

"Penalising older Kiwis for wanting to move to another country - or travel through many - served no particular purpose. It's not what retirees want - and it's not in line with this National Government's philosophy. We welcome the change," Ministers Bennett and Carter say.