The Government is making changes to NZ Super and Veteran’s Pension with the aim of modernising superannuation in New Zealand.
The scheme originally planned to come into effect on 1 July 2020 as an outcome of the 2019 budget, but has been delayed to 9 November 2020 as a result of shifting focus to supporting those affected by COVID-19.
One of the key changes introduced are towards including partners in super payments. Those receiving NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension will not be able to include non-qualifying partners in their payments from 9 November 2020. Your partner will instead be eligible for alternative assistance.
Partners who are already included in your NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension payment before 9 November will remain unaffected, and will continue to receive payments until specific circumstances change. These include simply removing your partner from the payment or an income increase that exceeds the cut-off point.
Partners removed from your payments cannot be included in your payments again on or after 9 November 2020.
Another key change is being introduced to overseas pension deductions. Members are currently liable to deductions from your NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension payments if your partner is receiving an overseas pension. This system will no longer be in place from 9 November 2020, and no deductions will be made from your pension or super payments.
However, deductions will still apply if you have a non-qualified partner included in your payment or if your partner gets an alternative benefit or payment from the government.
The Government considers a spouse or a partner who doesn’t qualify for NZ Super or the Veteran’s Pension (due to being below 65 years of age or have not lived in New Zealand for long enough) to be ‘non-qualified partners’.