New Zealanders who are currently receiving NZ Super payments, or are looking to apply need to be aware of the obligations that come with the scheme. It is important to be prepared for and prevent any penalties that may come your way in the case that you do not uphold these obligations.
What are your obligations?
Changes in your personal details, living conditions and financial circumstances need to be reported to Work and Income as soon as you can confirm them. For example, contact details such as your address, bank account number and name need to be reported. Other reportable changes in your living situation include your relationship status (marriage, separation, de facto relationships), involvement in a civil union, and starting or stopping living alone.
The following changes will also need to be reported to Work and Income:
- intention to live overseas,
- intention to travel overseas for longer than 26 weeks,
- admittance or discharge from hospital,
- being granted overseas benefits and/or pensions, and
- being imprisoned or held in custody on demand.
Up until November 2020, your partner can also be included in your NZ Super. In the case that you have a partner included in your NZ Super, changes in work situations regarding your partner or yourself (such as becoming self-employed or switching to part-time, casual or full-time work) will also need to be reported.
Keep in mind that individuals who are receiving other payments from the New Zealand Government will also need to simultaneously meet obligations for other respective payments, that are not necessarily required by NZ Super.
What happens if you do not meet your obligations?
Individuals who do not meet the required obligations may be faced with a series of penalties including:
- their New Zealand Superannuation being reviewed and stopped,
- paying back any overpayments they have received,
- being imposed a penalty of up to three times the value of any overpayment, and
- being prosecuted, fined, and/or imprisoned.