Getting NZ Superannuation or the Veteran's Pension
NZ Superannuation is a universal payment for NZ citizens and residents who are 65 or older. If you've served in New Zealand's Armed Forces you might be able to apply for a Veteran’s Pension instead.
You don't automatically start getting NZ Super or the Veteran's Pension once you turn 65 — you must apply for it.
Who can get NZ Superannuation or the Veteran's Pension
You can get NZ Super if you:
- are 65 or older
- are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- normally live in NZ, and
- intend to remain here.
You must have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since you turned 20 and 5 of those years must have been since you turned 50.
Living in the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau
You can also get NZ Super or the Veteran's Pension if you're a resident of the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau, and lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years after you turned 20 — 5 of those years must be since you turned 50.
If you've served in New Zealand's Armed Forces and have qualifying operational service you can apply for a Veteran’s Pension. In some cases your spouse or partner may also qualify for one. Check to see if you can apply.
How to apply for NZ Superannuation or the Veteran's Pension
Apply for NZ Super or the Veteran's Pension up to 8 weeks before you turn 65, so your application can be processed in time. You don't automatically start getting NZ Super or the Veteran's Pension once you turn 65.
You can apply at any time after you turn 65 but you won't get back-pay.
You can apply online, download a form or ask Work and Income to send you one.
Already getting a benefit
If you're already receiving a benefit from Work and Income, or if you're included in your partner's NZ Super, you need to complete a different form.
If you're married, in a civil union or a de facto relationship
The amount of NZ Super or Veteran's Pension you get depends on whether you're in a relationship or not. If you are, the amount you get also depends on whether your partner is eligible for either NZ Super or the Veteran's Pension. If either of you get a pension from another country, this may affect the amount you're paid.
If your partner isn't eligible for NZ Super or the Veteran's Pension and you decide to include them in yours, any income the 2 of you earn affects the amount you get paid. Other rules also apply — Seniors Services at Work and Income can help you work out if you should include your partner or not.
If you've lived or worked overseas
If you've ever lived or worked overseas, you might be eligible for a social security pension from another country. You must apply for these as part of the application process for NZ Super or the Veteran's Pension.
International Services at Work and Income help you work out what you could apply for, and give you the forms you need. Any money you or your partner receive from an overseas pension could be deducted from your NZ Super or Veteran's Pension.
Applying online — remember to print out the form and post it in
If you apply online you'll need a cellphone and an email address. Once you have submitted your form you'll be told if you need to come in for an interview with Work and Income.
You must print out your online form before you submit it. Sign and post it to Work and Income together with any supporting documents. Your application won't be processed until they receive the printed copy.
Current rates and payment dates
The amount you get depends on:
- whether you have a partner or not
- your living situation if you're single
- the amount you're taxed.
NZ Super and the Veteran's Pension are paid every two weeks.
Once you're getting NZ Super or the Veteran's Pension
You must let Work and Income know if anything changes, such as your contact details, your relationship or your living situation.
If you want to travel or move overseas and keep getting your NZ Super or Veteran's Pension you need to contact Work and Income.