Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

Get all information you need to make a successful and stress-free move across the ditch.

Are New Zealanders able to get the age pension in Australia? Yes! But there is more to it. Here is all the information you need to know…

New Zealanders who are 67 years or older and live in Australia should be eligible for an Australian Age Pension. As long as they meet the resident, income, and asset eligibility criteria.

Please note that the eligibility criteria has recently been changed, so you will need to wait until you are now 67 to receive the Australian Age Pension if you were born on or after 1 January 1957. Read more below.

Under Australia’s international social security agreement with New Zealand, NZ citizens living in Australia can apply for the Australian Age Pension (over 67 years, see below), Disability Support Pension (DSP) (if they are severely disabled), and Carer Payment (if they are caring for a partner on DSP), irrespective of whether they are protected or non-protected SCV holders.

Editor Note: I have been advised by multiple New Zealanders who have moved to Australia that there is a backlog of pension applications, and it’s important to apply as soon as you arrive, if you pass the income and asset tests. You can lodge an Age Pension application up to 13 weeks before you reach eligibility age (between 66.5 and 67). See my delay in processing pension applications post.

A claim for the age pension is meant to have a “timeliness standard” of 49 days, but in December last year, the average processing time was 91 days, up from 61 in August and 35 days in the 2021-22 financial year.

Your application will be backdated to the date of your application. However, the NZ pension is way more generous and not income and asset tested. Therefore if you are not eligible for the full Australian Age Pension, you are best to wait until you have received your NZ pension for 26 weeks and then apply for the Australian Age Pension.

Australian age pensions are asset and income-tested, so any assets or income a New Zealander has will affect the amount payable.

Income Test – Your assessable income must be less than $63,351 if you’re a single person or $96,865 if you’re a couple.

Asset Test – If you’re a homeowner, singles can have up to $674,000 and couples $1,012,500. If you’re not a homeowner, singles can have up to $916,000 and couples $1,254,500.

Read more about income and asset tests for pensions below.

To qualify for a pension, a New Zealander must have been resident in either Australia or New Zealand for at least 10 years of their working life (between the ages of 20 and 67).

You can continue to get your New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super) or Veteran’s Pension payments for up to 26 weeks (inclusive) after you leave New Zealand.

There are different rates of Age Pension payments for single people and couples. Read about how your relationship status can affect your payment rate.

In this post you will find helpful information on:

At what age can you get the Australian age pension?

On 1 July 2021, the Age Pension age increased to 66 years and 6 months for people born from 1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956, inclusive.

This has now increased again to 67 years if you were born on or after 1 January 1957.

If your birthdate is on or after 1 January 1957, you’ll have to wait until you turn 67. This will be the Age Pension age from 1 July 2023.

Australian Age Pension age is:

  • 65 years and 6 months if you were born between 1 July 1952 and 31 December 1953
  • 66 years if you were born between 1 January 1954 and 30 June 1955
  • 66 years and 6 months if you were born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956
  • 67 years if you were born on or after 1 January 1957.

If you’re legally blind and you’re not claiming Rent Assistance, you may be able to claim Age Pension without being assessed against the income and assets tests. You’ll need to provide an ophthalmologist report to support your claim.

Read more about Age Pension age requirements on the Department of Social Services website.

 

Australia Age Pension Payment Rates

The Australian Government Department of Human Services uses income and assets tests to work out how much Age Pension you get.

Working out how much you can get can be confusing. You can find a link to SuperGuide’s age pension calculator below.

Australia Age Pension rates:

Per fortnightSingleCouple eachCouple combinedCouple apart due to ill health
Maximum basic rate$1,020.60$769.30$1,538.60$1,020.60
Maximum Pension Supplement$81.60$61.50$123.00$81.60
Energy Supplement$14.10$10.60$21.20$14.10
Total$1,116.30$841.40$1,682.80$1,116.30

* Rates as per 1 April 2024. Check here for updated rates

Australia Pension Income Test

Your income can reduce how much you will get paid. The age pension income test will assess your income from all sources. If you’re over the limit, you get a lower pension. However, the Australian Government does have a Work Bonus for pensioners who do work (see below).

Standard Income Rules

These are the income rules for most pensioners.

Single person

Income per fortnightAmount your pension will reduce by
Up to $204$0
Over $20450 cents for each dollar over $204

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

Combined income per fortnightAmount your combined pension will reduce by
Up to $360$0
Over $36050 cents for each dollar over $360

* Rates as of 1 April 2024. Check here for updated rates.

Read more here: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/income-test-for-pensions?context=22526.

Types of income

Income from outside Australia that may count in the income test includes money from all of the following:

  • Investments
  • pensions
  • employment
  • self-employment
  • business and real estate

Read more here:

Australia Pension Asset Test

For the maximum rate of pension to be payable, you may have assets up to the assets value limit (the asset limit before pension reduces), provided your income does not exceed the income free area (the income limit before pension reduces).

The assets value limits for service pension, age pension and veteran payment are:

Relationship and residential statusHomeownersNon-homeowners
Singles$301,750$543,750
Couples* – combined$451,500$693,500

* Includes illness-separated and respite care couples. Rates as of 1 April 2024. Check here for updated rates.

This means you can have assets up to and including these amounts and still get the maximum rate of pension, provided your income does not exceed the income-free area.

When the market value of your assets exceeds the assets value limit, your pension is reduced by 75 cents per fortnight for every whole amount of $250 worth of assets above the limit. The pension continues to reduce at the rate of 75 cents for every $250 worth of assets over the limit until the value of your assets reaches or exceeds the assets cut-off limits. No pension is payable if you have assets above the cut-off limits.

For a couple the value of the assets is split between each member of the couple and the rate of reduction is the same for each member of the couple.

Assets include any:

  • financial investments
  • home contents, personal effects and vehicles (a caravan)
  • real estate, annuities, income streams and superannuation pensions
  • sole traders, partnerships, private trusts and private companies.

Your home is not counted as an asset when calculating pension or payment, but it does affect how your pension or payment is assessed under the assets test.

For more information on how the assets test works and some good examples of calculations, refer to Assets Test: https://www.dva.gov.au/financial-support/income-support/what-changes-your-payments/your-income-and-assets/assets-test

Working after pension age

The Australian Government is assisting older Australians to work, if they are able and wish to do so, by offering the Work Bonus.

Seniors may have substantial income from work and still receive an Australian Age Pension. Age Pension rules provide incentives for work, including part-time or casual work through the combined application of the pension income test (above) and the Work Bonus (below).

Work Bonus

The Work Bonus provides an incentive for pensioners over Age Pension age to work, should they choose to do so, by allowing them to keep more of their pension when they have income from working. Under the Work Bonus, the first $300 of fortnightly income from work is not assessed as income under the pension income test. Any unused amount of the fortnightly $300 Work Bonus will accumulate in a Work Bonus income bank, up to a maximum amount of $7,800.

The amount accumulated in the income bank can be used to offset future income from work that would otherwise be assessable under the pension income test. The income bank amount is not time limited; if unused it carries forward, even across years.

For more information visit Work Bonus on the Australia Government Department of Social Services website.

 

Age Pension calculator

The Age Pension calculator on the SuperGuide website is straightforward and easy to use.

Simply enter your details in the calculator (in the yellow blocks) and you will be given an estimate of the amount of Age Pension you may be eligible for. Reminder: do not include the value of your home in your assets.

Age Pension calculator

Pensions and Carer Payment

Under Australia’s international social security agreement with New Zealand, New Zealand citizens living in Australia can apply for the Australian Age Pension (if over the age of 67), Disability Support Pension (DSP) (if they are severely disabled) and Carer Payment (if they are caring for a partner on DSP), irrespective of whether they are protected or non-protected SCV holders.

The residency requirements for the Age Pension require a total period of time lived in Australia and/or periods of Working Age Residence (Working Age Residency refers to residency between the ages of 20 and 65/67) in New Zealand of more than ten years. For DSP, the person must have had at least ten years of residence in Australia or New Zealand, become severely disabled while living in Australia or New Zealand and resided in Australia for at least one year. For Carer Payment, an individual must have lived in Australia and/or New Zealand for more than two years.

Reciprocal arrangements apply in relation to certain New Zealand payments (discussed below).

Source: New Zealanders in Australia: a quick guide on the Parliament of Australia website. 

New Zealand Social Security Agreement with Australia

New Zealand and Australia have a social security agreement. The Agreement covers the following benefits and pensions:

New Zealand benefits and pensions:

  • Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind)
  • New Zealand Superannuation
  • Veteran’s Pension

Australia benefits and pensions:

  • Disability Support Pension (for the severely disabled)
  • Carer Payment for the partner of a person who is in receipt of Disability Support Pension
  • Australian Age Pension

The agreement means that New Zealand residents who have lived, live or are going to live in Australia may qualify for a benefit or pension from both Australia and New Zealand.

If you are paid or apply for a benefit or pension in NZ then you must apply for the equivalent in Australia.

New Zealand Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) and Australian Disability Support Pension (for the severely disabled)

In order to qualify for the Australian Disability Support Pension under the Agreement, you must meet the below criteria for either the New Zealand Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) or Australian Disability Support Pension and you must also be assessed as “severely disabled”.

“Severely disabled” means:

  • you must have a physical, psychiatric or intellectual impairment that makes you totally unable to work or benefit from any assistance or rehabilitation programme for the next two years or
  • you must be permanently blind and
  • the severe disablement must have occurred while you were a resident in either Australia or New Zealand. 

Getting a benefit or pension in Australia

If you intent to or do live in Australia you may qualify for a benefit or pension from both Australia and New Zealand.

As stated above, you must apply for a benefit or pension in both countries.

Once your applications are processed you may be paid payments from both New Zealand and Australia, e.g. your payment is made up of a NZ Superannuation payment and an Australian Age Pension payment. When this happens the total amount you will receive will be similar to the amount you would have received if you spent all your life in Australia. 

Getting a New Zealand benefit or pension in Australia

Senior Services International uses certain criteria to decide who can receive an NZ pension or benefit in Australia and how much you will be paid.

You can read more about this here: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/pensions/travelling-or-moving/social-security-agreements/australia.html#null.

 

Do you already receive an NZ Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension?

If you already receive either the NZ superannuation or Veteran’s pension, are over 65 before you leave NZ and meet the age criteria for the Australian Age Pension, you can continue to receive your NZ payments for up to 26 weeks after leaving NZ. If you don’t meet the Australian Age Pension criteria your payments will stop the day after you leave NZ.

You should check what you will be paid in Australia before you leave NZ as it may be less than what you are currently been paid especially if:

  • you receive any supplementary benefits and allowances (such as the Accommodation Supplement or Disability Allowance) in New Zealand as these can’t be paid after you leave New Zealand, or
  • you have a partner under 65 who is already included in your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension payments, or
  • you have income and/or assets that may affect your entitlement to an Australian Age Pension, or
  • you have lived in a country other than New Zealand or Australia.

Whether you are paid in Australia will depend on the outcome of your application for the Australian Age Pension, which includes an income and asset test. 

What do you need to do within 26 weeks?

To see if your NZ payments will continue for more than 26 weeks after leaving NZ you must apply for the NZ Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension to be paid to you in Australia.

You need to apply for an Australian Age Pension through your local Centrelink office as soon as possible and within 26 weeks of leaving NZ.

If Centrelink grants you an Australian Age Pension, they will send you an NZ application form to complete so Senior Services International can work out whether you will continue to be paid and how much you will receive.

If Centrelink can’t grant you an Australian Age Pension because you don’t meet the residency requirements, please contact Work and Income in NZ. 

How do you apply for an Australian Pension or benefit?

You need to apply for a benefit or pension within four weeks of leaving NZ. You need to get application forms from your local Centerlink office or call Centerlink International Services. If you are already in Australia, here is the ‘how to claim’ information on the Australia Services website.

What you need when you apply for an Australian benefit or pension in Australia:

  • proof of your identity, e.g. passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, or driver’s licence
  • your bank account details so that payments can be made to you (bank book, bank statement or deposit slip)
  • proof of any income and assets you have.

Things to do before leaving New Zealand for Australia

  • Advise Work and Income about your plans.
  • Make sure you have all documents ready: proof of your identity (eg passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate or driver’s licence), your bank account details, and any doctors’ or specialists’ reports if you receive New Zealand Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind).
  • If you receive an overseas pension that is paid using the Special Banking Option in New Zealand, you need to contact that overseas agency and request that they pay directly to your personal bank account. For help with this please contact Senior Services International

Things to do after arriving in Australia

  • If you are paid the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind) or a Veteran’s Pension and are under 65, you must apply for the Disability Support Pension within four weeks of leaving New Zealand. Your partner may be able to apply for an Australian Carer Payment. To make an application, talk to your local Centrelink office or call Centrelink International Services.
  • If you are paid New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran’s Pension and you are over 65, you must apply for an Australian Age Pension within 26 weeks of leaving New Zealand. To make an application, talk to your local Centrelink office or call Centrelink International Services.  

Transferring your Kiwisaver to Australia

If you move permanently to Australia, you can transfer your KiwiSaver funds to an Australian superannuation scheme. You do not have to transfer your KiwiSaver account to Australia though.

Contact your KiwiSaver provider if you decide to transfer your KiwiSaver funds to an Australia super.

Process of transferring your KiwiSaver to Australia

To transfer your KiwiSaver you will need to:

  • Talk to your current KiwiSaver provider
  • Decide what super fund you want to transfer your KiwiSaver to
  • Become a member of that fund
  • Provide your Australian home address
  • Complete the KiwiSaver transfer form
  • Transfer your KiwiSaver balance
  • Complete documentation of your chosen super fund.

Choosing a super fund

How to compare and choose super funds. When you’re comparing super funds, weigh up fund performance and the fees you’ll pay against other factors such as risk, investment returns, services and insurance, e.g. performance, low fees, insurance, investment options and services.

You can find out about and compare super funds by using the ATO’s YourSuper comparison tool, an online list comparing MySuper products.

Here is a good post on choosing a super fund, which goes into the above in more detail. 

Help and advice

I’ve recently found this Australian government website My Aged Care. If you need some help around the house or think it’s time to look into aged care homes, My Aged Care is here to help.

The website has a lot of helpful information:

  • Types of care – where to start, learn about types of care, am I eligible, help at home, short-term care and aged care homes.
  • Assessment – the assessment process, how to apply for assessment, prepare for your assessment, after your assessment, when to get re-assessed and apply for assessment online.
  • Find a provider – search for a provider, compare providers, what to consider, understanding costs and setting up services.
  • Manage my services – how to make changes, aged care representatives and access your Online Account.
  • Contact us – how to contact us, accessible services, about My Aged Care and the complaints process.

Financial Support and Advice

I found this website when I was looking for advice for the below comment:

My parents are kiwis and have a house in NZ and Australia but they want to live in Australia full time now they are 80 years old!
They need advice on how to organise their finances in NZ to make sensible choices re private and government pensions, investments, house sale etc.
Is their a person or a company you can suggest that they can use yo give them this advice please?

My Aged Care has great online help for financial support and advice, including:

Organisations that can help

Several organisations offer free services that can inform you about building savings, preparing for retirement, and your pension options:

  • Financial information service
  • MoneySmart
  • Life Checks
  • National Debt Helpline

Professional services that can help

The MoneySmart website has some valuable resources to help you manage your money, and it can also direct you to professional services like financial advisers, counsellors, and legal advice:

  • Financial advisers
  • Financial counsellors
  • Free legal advice

Tools and information

There are many tools available to help you with different aspects of your finances, such as:

  • Budgeting and saving
  • Superannuation and retirement planning
  • Unclaimed money
  • Borrowing and credit
  • Payment and service eligibility
  • Bill payment and debt management

So if you need financial advice firstly check out their website and then get in contact with them. They will definitely be able to point you in the right direction.

Here is a video which explains simply about their service.

 

More questions about the Australia Age Pension?

Read the below page in full if any of the below apply to you:

  • What happens if I don’t apply within 26 weeks?
  • What if I am over 65 but my partner is under 65?
  • What happens if I don’t qualify for an Australian Age Pension?
  • Can I receive the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind)?
  • What happens if I have a partner?
  • What if I already receive the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind)?
  • What do I have to do to continue to receive the Supported Living Payment (health condition, injury, disability or totally blind)?
  • What happens when I apply for a Disability Support Pension?
  • What happens if I don’t qualify for a Disability Support Pension?
  • What if I spent time in a country other than New Zealand and Australia?

Work and Income page Social Security agreement with Australia:
https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/pensions/travelling-or-moving/social-security-agreements/australia.html#null.

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96 Comments

  1. Liz Stilwell

    April 4, 2024 at 7:47 pm

    Hi JJ,
    Thanks for this wonderful site. I’ve read through but still somewhat confused re a pension application – sorry
    I am 68 years old – 69 in August. I’m a NZ citizen living in Australia since 2010. Now the Citizenship rules have changed I will be applying for Australian Citizenship which I understand will give me dual citizenship?
    I still own a house (with a mortgage) in NZ – and I rent a small home here.
    The rental income from my NZ house is generating enough to cover the mortgage and maintenance outgoings and a very small amount of income – I will likely sell the property sometime in the future. MY QUESTION: I now want to apply for the pension so do I apply for NZ pension from Australia or the Australian pension? To be clear, I’m on a SCV – not a permanent resident in Australia as two redundancies here and retraining meant I was always below the ‘new migrant threshold’. I love my work and intend to work until @74 but I understand I may be eligible for a part-pension. Thank you, Elizabeth

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      April 5, 2024 at 11:39 am

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Thank you for your comment and compliment.
      Yes you will get Dual Citizenship (NZ and Australian) under the new direct pathway: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/citizenship-pathway-for-new-zealanders-in-australia/.
      As you are living in Australia, you will need to apply straight for the Australian pension, which is income and asset tested.
      Have you looked into applying for the pension before? If you have not, I recommend using the age pension calculator so you have an estimate of the amount of Age Pension you may be eligible for: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      If you do sell your NZ property and buy a home in Australia, this will reduce your assets considerably, as your Australian home doesn’t affect the income and asset tests.
      Unfortunately, I am not a financial adviser and can only recommend based on information I can find online.
      If you need/want further assistance, I recommend finding a financial adviser in Australia, specialising in age pensions, who can help you.
      I hope the above helps.

      Reply
  2. Domini Langru

    February 24, 2024 at 11:26 pm

    I have moved to Australia to be near family. Still trying to sell property in NZ no income from it. Getting NZ pension till June. Is this property classed as an asset? Will I get Australian old age pension is it worth applying?

    Reply
  3. Ben

    February 5, 2024 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Thanks for all the information you provide. We have a 70 year old retired friend who relocated to the Gold Coast and she said she has had major issues in contacting Ausie Centrelink. She received her NZ pension for 6 months and applied well in advance for her Oz pension. She has now received no Oz pension for close to 12 months! She tried in vain to contact Centrelink with no avail. She also has not received her pensioners card so cannot use it for beneficial pensioner benefits. We also see more and more comments from Ozzies on on-line sites that NZ Citizen Pensioners cannot get the pension in Oz? Do you have any idea who she can contact, maybe an MP or ombudsman? We as retirees were looking at moving over to Oz but are slightly concerned after her experience. Work and Income NZ is amazing to deal with but there is no way we will be able to talk to an Australian Centrelink person to give us confirmation for our situation. We are considering approaching an Ozzie immigration lawyer to look at our situation for confirmation if we will qualify for full pension if we do move to Oz. I am aware of all the issues about age, asset testing etc. How do I contact an immigration lawyer in QL? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  4. Dean

    January 16, 2024 at 11:06 am

    Hi
    myself wife and three kids aged 16,18,20 are wanting to move to oz later this year. We are wanting my parents to come with us too. We all have nz citizenship. They moved to nz 11 years ago they are aged 76 years both now. My mum is Irish and gets a small pension from Ireland .They get an uk pension {but never had an increase in 11 years only the amount they were entitled on the day they left Uk }. They get a small nz pension to top up. Can you tell me please the process of transferring pension – are they allowed too? can they get an Oz pension as they have never worked in NZ ? they own their home here not much savings ? is there anyway to find out more info on the means pension in oz what they would likely get so they know they will be alright after selling here and buying a home in oz – we also want sell our house here and buy a home in Oz?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 15, 2024 at 10:26 am

      Hi Dean,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
      Unfortunately I am not a financial adviser and can only give advice from the information I have been able to find online.
      From my research, your parents would not be eligible for the Australian age pension as they have not been a New Zealand resident for at least 10 years of their working life (between the ages of 20 and 66 and 6 months), they were only an NZ resident for 1 year of their working life (65 to 76).
      I recommend you contact a financial adviser in Australia and ask them the same question, as they will be able to correctly advise your parents of all their options. You can find one of the Australian website My Aged Care: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/financial-support-and-advice.
      You are able to use the Age Pension calculator on the SuperGuide website to work out how much Australian pension they would receive if they were eligible, but first I would recommend figuring out if they are: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      As you are wanting to sell your home in NZ and purchase a home in Australia, I recommend you read my Buying a house in Australia post: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/buying-a-house-in-australia/.
      Sorry I couldn’t give you more hopeful advise.

      Reply
  5. Bernee Andrahennadige

    December 8, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    Hi, my mother and I planning to move to Australia, However I have few concerns mainly her Heath. She is a long sufferer of diabetes type 2, from New Zealand she gets podiatry help and checking her eyes and all things checks to do with side effects from diabetes. Could you please let me know if you can, will she be covered for her medical care like she is in New Zealand?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      December 11, 2023 at 4:16 pm

      Hi Bernee,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Medicare helps all Australians with the costs of their health care. As a New Zealander living in Australia on an SCV, this includes us. You can access Medicare to help pay for services to manage chronic health conditions, such as diabetes.
      Once your Mum’s Medicare application is approved she will receive an Australian Medicare reciprocal health care card. She will then have access to Medicare and the diabetes products and services offered by the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS).
      Here is a good post by Diabetes Victoria, on what Medicare Australia covers: https://www.diabetesvic.org.au/Medicare-and-diabetes.
      And another on diabetes and coming to Australia: https://www.diabetesvic.org.au/Diabetes-and-coming-to-Australia.
      Hope the above helps.

      Reply
  6. Ash

    December 7, 2023 at 10:32 am

    Hi thanks for posting this, you won’t believe how helpful it has been for me to best prepare for my mum’s arrival here in Australia. My mum’s currently 82 years old and she’s currently on NZ pension. We migrated to NZ in 2002 and mum has stayed back in NZ while I’ve moved to Australia..I’m now wanting to bring mum to join me in Australia. Mum’s never been employed so I’m wondering if she will she still be eligible for the Australia pension?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      December 7, 2023 at 1:39 pm

      Hi Ash,
      That’s lovely to hear that your Mum will be joining you in Australia. Family is so important.
      It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t worked. She will still be eligible under the Australia’s international social security agreement with New Zealand.
      Please note, I have been advised recently of a delay in receiving the Australia pension, so make sure you apply asap when she arrives. She will still receive her NZ pension for 26 weeks and hopefully her application would have been processed by then.
      Hope the above helps.

      Reply
  7. Vicki

    December 5, 2023 at 9:26 am

    Hi there, thanks for all of this great info, but i , we are still confused over the shifting to Oz with my husband on the pension, at 65, will this continue or will he have to wait till hes 66 an 6, and i am not 65 for another year, so does that mean i will have to wait till 66 6 years, and understanding the means testing, we would have money for a house, and some cash but no income so how is this means tested, after we purchase a house, ? we have tried to find this info online but it seems a grey area, and not clear to us
    hope you can shed some light on this, or direct us where to find this information.
    many thanks
    Vicki

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      December 5, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Hi Vicki,
      I also have found it a very hard subject to get my head around. Everything I have been able to find out is in the above post (Australian Age Pension).
      You are correct, the Australia pension does not start until you are 66.5 years. You will receive the NZ pension for 26 weeks after you have left New Zealand, then you will have to wait until you are 66.5 years to receive any further income from any government.
      Regarding the means and assets testing, here is the link to the Age Pension calculator on the SuperGuide website, which is straightforward and easy to use: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      You would enter in the approximate value of your assets (non-financial and financial) after you have purchased a house in Australia and if you are not planning on working, then $0 for your deemed income.
      On the right of the calculator there is a help section, which defines non-financial assets or financial investments, income, etc. This will help you understand what is included and what is not.
      Please note, I am not a financial adviser and can only recommend from information I have found online. I recommend you contact a financial adviser in Australia for further advise on your individual circumstances.
      I hope the above helped.

      Reply
  8. SELVAMAHESWARAN

    December 1, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Hi
    I am 74 years old and a New Zealand citizen for over 35 years , my wife is 65 + and both receive NZ super . Two of our children are in Australia and got Australian citizenship as well.
    We are planning to move to Australia by mid next year. Though I know I will be entitled for Australian age pension but my wife has to wait till 67 to apply for Australian age pension, however my question is will my wife continue to get New Zealand super (leaving Australian contribution) until 67 ?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      December 5, 2023 at 11:52 am

      Hi Selvamaheswaran,
      Your wife will become eligible for the Australia age pension when she is 66.5 years old.
      You will both receive the NZ pension for 26 weeks after you leave New Zealand. Then both NZ pensions will stop.
      You should apply for the Australia age pension as soon as you arrive in Australia, as I have heard there can be a delay, so get in the processing cue asap.
      Have you completed the age pension calculator so you know how much Australia pension you will receive? I do recommend it since the Australia age pension is income and asset tested: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      I hope the above answers your question.

      Reply
  9. Keith Prokop

    August 21, 2023 at 8:29 pm

    The calculator doesn’t seem to calculate for couples in my situation where I have reached retirement age but my wife hasn’t. I’m sure that income for a non-retiree is calculated differently even though they are still a “couple”. Can you confirm that this observation is correct. TIA.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 22, 2023 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Keith,
      Thank you for your comment.
      On the right side of the calculator, Super Guide has included a help section. Here is what it says under notes for couples:
      What if only one member of a couple is eligible?
      Where only one member of a couple has reached Age Pension age, Centrelink will treat the application based on the assets and income of the couple combined, and pay the eligible Age Pensioner half of the couple’s rate. If only one partner is eligible to apply for the Age Pension, all jointly owned assets, financial investments and income and assets should be included, although special rules apply to superannuation.
      If a member of a couple has not yet reached Age Pension age, then his or her superannuation benefits are not counted for Age Pension eligibility UNLESS he or she has started receiving superannuation pension payments. Learn more about how your super affects the Age Pension (https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/superannuation-affect-age-pension).
      Reminder: If only one partner has reached Age Pension age, and the couple satisfy the Age Pension assets test and income test, the eligible partner will be paid half of the Couple rate, rather than the Single rate.
      What if a couple is separated due to illness?
      This calculator does not currently cater for couples separated due to illness. Please note though that there are higher asset and income thresholds for couples separated by illness. For more information see the following SuperGuide articles:
      – Age Pension: Asset test thresholds (https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-asset-test-thresholds)
      – Age Pension: Income test thresholds (https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-income-test-thresholds)
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
  10. R N

    August 15, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    hi JJ,
    Thanks for a very informative website. Could we please get your thoughts on our situation. My mum lives in NZ in her own house worth about $1.8m and has savings of about 100K, currently gets aged pension in NZ (is 69). She is thinking of moving to Melbourne to be closer to our family. Currently we are looking at building or buying a house for her close to us. Houses here are worth around $800k.

    Option 1: We build/buy and she lives rent free. Reading various posts it looks like she can’t stay here and just own the house in NZ if she wants to get pension. Potential capital gains issue if she wants to sell in due course. Not sure about stamp duty consideration if transfer happens due to her passing in due course.

    Option 2: She sells in NZ and buys close to us but that might mean her surplus funds will make her not qualify for a pension anyway.

    Option 3: She sells in NZ and buys in a more expensive suburb so more of her funds are used up but then she is up for a bigger stamp duty. Might be about 5 years worth of pension at current rate. With less savings on hand she qualifies for pension.

    We would very much appreciate an opinion on the pros and cons on our options or if we are missing any other factors.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 24, 2023 at 1:27 pm

      Hi R N,
      This is a position a lot of my visitors are in.
      Unfortunately, I am not a financial adviser and can not give you any further advice apart from the information I have put in my post, which from your comment it looks like you have read and understood.
      I’ve put the figures into the Age Pension calculator and you are right that if she keeps her NZ home as an investment property then she will not receive the Australia age pension, because she does not pass the asset test. If she buys a home in your area, she will still not qualify for the Australian age pension.
      If she manages to buy a home for $1.3, her assets will then be down to $600,000 and she will receive $169.25 per fortnight, $4,401 per year.
      At your Mum’s stage in life, I’d imagine quality of life and family are more important than money. I recommend you look at other ways she can use her investments to get an income and forget about the pension.
      Here is the link to a post on Moneysmart, an Australian Government organization supporting older Australians, they may be able to help: https://moneysmart.gov.au/living-in-retirement/supporting-older-australians.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Sorry, I could not be of more help.

      Reply
  11. Louise

    February 9, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    Hi
    I have a son in Sydney. I would love to be closer to.
    I am 60y.o. working and contemplating move to Oz and continue to work there.
    In NZ I would qualify for pension at 65, but would still need to keep working.
    I have read all I can about pension entitlement in Oz and would I qualify later in life, via arrangement between NZ & Oz.
    What I have learnt so far, is I would apply when I get to that age, not eligible until I was 67, its asset tested… my question is, because it a bit unclear,
    Do you have to have lived in Oz for 10 years? If not no pension??
    info seems to suggest this but at same time says there is an agreement of sort with NZ.
    I don’t own home, so limited assets, just don’t want to make the move and find out later in life I not eligible for old aged pension.
    Hope you may have had similar queries or you know of similar situation.
    I have read as much as I can on Govt. websites.
    I understand decisions are based on individuals, if you could shed any light on this, I would be extremely grateful.
    Kind regards
    Louise

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 9, 2023 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Louise,
      Thank you for your email.
      I understand the position you are in. I have read all I can on the internet and getting a pension in Australia for a New Zealander has been one of my harder subjects to get my head around.
      The good news is, yes you will be eligible for the Australian pension when you come of age, as your time living and working in New Zealand do count in Australia.
      If you haven’t already, have a read of my Australian Age Pension post – https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/australian-age-pension/.
      At the bottom, you can ask me any further questions you have.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  12. Marilyn

    October 12, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Hi
    I am a NZ Passport Holder.
    I have been a resident of Australia since the late 70’s.
    When I came to Australia way back then no passports or visa’s were required.
    I will be 66 in a couple of weeks.
    Can you advise on whether I am able to receive a NZ pension.
    Is it supplemented with an Australian Pension.
    Or would I just be better applying for an Australian Pension.
    Regards
    Marilyn

    Reply
  13. Warwick Parker

    September 1, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Thankyou for your very informative website.
    I know you are not a financial adviser, but are you able to confirm that as a general rule, all my share investments and my NZ house should be sold before moving to Aust, to avoid the possibility of being caught for Aust capital gains tax, if these assets are sold later on.
    Maybe different perhaps is some of the share holdings are currently valued below cost.
    Thanks
    Warwick

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      October 13, 2022 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Warwick,
      Sorry for the delay in replying.
      All I can recommend is that you complete the Age Pension calculator and see how much your Australia Age Pension would be reduced if you didn’t sell your assets: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      The above will help you make an informed decision.
      As a general rule, it is best to sell your assets before moving, especially your NZ home, so you do not have to pay CGT when you sell it.
      However, have a read of this post ‘Managing capital gains to reduce tax and boost your super’, as it might help you make the right decision for you: https://www.superguide.com.au/how-super-works/capital-gains-cgt-super.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      Reply
  14. Stuart

    August 16, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Hi. I know that I should be able to work this out for myself but each time I think I have it sorted there appears to be another twist. I believe that I would be entitled to have NZ super/Aus age pension paid if I was to move permanently to Australia.
    My situation
    Single 68yrs. Home owner value $300K to be sold prior to move. $60K in savings.
    Already on NZ super
    Your opinion/calculation greatly appreciated

    Thanks

    Stuart

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 18, 2022 at 1:34 pm

      Hi Stuart,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I know, it hasn’t been the easiest subject for me to get my head around either.
      I’ve put the information you gave me into the Age Pension calculator (https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator) and these are your results:
      – Single
      – No home
      Asset test:
      – Financial investments $360,000
      Income test:
      – Deemed income $6,965
      Pension estimate:
      Per fortnight $948.66
      Per year $24,665
      So not much of a haircut on the full rate of $967.50.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  15. Mellorie Hinton

    August 12, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you for this excellent website. My situation is a little unusual in that my husband and I are Australian citizens who have lived and worked in New Zealand for over 20 years (we moved her for his academic post). We have not become NZ citizens or permanent residents. We both worked in Australia for a few years before leaving and I also worked in the UK for a few years. I have a small amount of super in Australia I plan to move across to NZ so it is all in one place.

    We will retire in about 10 years and would like to move back to Australia to be closer to family (and better public health care). Are we effectively treated the same as Kiwi’s moving to Australia in terms of access to the NZ pension being asset tested? Or as Australians leaving NZ can we take our pension anywhere regardless of assets, given that it was earned in NZ?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 18, 2022 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Mellorie,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately, I am not a financial advisor and can only share what information I can find online.
      However, it sounds like when you move back to Australia, as an Australian citizen living in Australia, you will receive the Australia age pension: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/who-can-get-age-pension?context=22526.
      Your NZ pension would stop after 26 weeks, whether you are an NZ or Australian citizen who has moved to Australia.
      I hope that answers your question.

      Reply

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