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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Still, got unanswered questions?

If you’ve read the above content and the answer to your question isn’t there, please write a comment below and I’ll research the answer for you. Please note, if the answer to your question is in the content above, I will not reply. Sorry, I just get too many questions these days and I can’t keep up.

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103 Comments

  1. Rob

    August 3, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    Hi there, I lived in queensland for 3 years, back here thanks to covid, proper to that i was in Syney for 20 years..I am 65 and half been told i have to wait till im 661/2 to move back to Australia,
    I am on a pension here and work part time. I will sell here first may be 450 and buy a unit on the gold coast. Do Ihave to wait, 66 in December
    I get 1250 a fortnight from govt here thanks

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 9, 2022 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Rob,
      Thanks for your comment.
      You can move back to Australia, but you will stop receiving your NZ pension and the Australia age pension doesn’t start until you are 66.5 years.
      The NZ government will stop your payments after 26 weeks.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      Reply
  2. Nicole

    July 28, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for your post. I have a question related to getting NZ pension in Australia.

    My parents (67 and 68 years old) are NZ citizens and currently living in NZ. They both are getting NZ superannuation at the moment, but they are wanting to move to Australia in the near future and I would like to know if they would be able to apply and get AUS pension over there after 26 weeks. They have never lived in AUS before but I understand there is a International Social Security Agreement between the two countries that state “your total Australian residence combined with your period(s) of coverage in New Zealand must add up to at least 10 years”.

    Does this mean they’ll be able to get AUS pension after living there for a period of time? If so, how long do they need to live in AUS for to be able to apply for it? (They have been living and working in NZ since 2002, and have never lived in AUS before).

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 28, 2022 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Nicole,
      Thanks for your comment.
      “Your total Australian residence combined with your period(s) of coverage in New Zealand must add up to at least 10 years”, means that a person must have lived in New Zealand and/or Australia for at least 10 years. They do have to have lived in Australia at all.
      There 20 years is definitely sufficient.
      There is no newly arrived resident’s waiting period for the Australia age pension for NZ citizens.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  3. Izzy

    July 26, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    Hi there, I’m on NZ Superannuation and want to know if I can stay in Australia with my son for 26 weeks, then return to NZ for a while before going back to Australia again. How long do I need to stay in NZ between my extended visits to Australia – to ensure I retain my NZ Super?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 28, 2022 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Izzy,
      Thank you for your comment.
      There is no time frame stated anywhere for the length of time you are able to visit Australia while still retaining your NZ Super.
      I have recently had a similar question, so I put the below to a financial adviser I know:
      ‘Is it possible to continue to receive your NZ pension while living the majority of the time in Australia. Example: returning to NZ after 25 weeks, staying for a few weeks, and then returning to Australia for another 25 weeks.’
      This is the response I got from the financial adviser:
      My understanding is that people are obliged to tell work and income how much time they’re spending away. There are, indeed, rules about being away more than 25 weeks but I think if someone’s pretty much residing in Australia and trying to game the system, they’ll be caught out and have to repay any benefits they weren’t entitled to.
      One of the problems with people being caught in Australia during the Covid-related travel bans was they ended up being away more than 25 weeks and lost some of their pension entitlement, as I understand it.
      So, in essence work and income will look at where they normally “reside” and if it’s not New Zealand the pension will be pro rated.
      Have a look at this link which isn’t conclusive but certainly stresses the “tell us” rule: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/pensions/travelling-or-moving/going-overseas-super/index.html.
      Therefore, you are able to visit Australia regularly but to continue to receive your NZ Super you will need to live in NZ.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  4. Brenton

    July 25, 2022 at 1:38 am

    Can you tell me if I’m receiving the Australian age pension on an unprotected visa can I do as Australian citizens do and live outside Australia and still receive my pension? I know you lose the supplement add ons.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 1, 2022 at 10:56 am

      Hi Brenton,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Unfortunately, I’m not a financial adviser, so only relay what information I can find online.
      I know we have almost the same rights as Australian citizens when living in Australia, but if you leave Australia your SCV will cease. Next time you enter Australia, they will grant you a new SCV if you still meet the eligibility requirements.
      If you are visiting another country for a holiday, then you shouldn’t have any problem, but I don’t know about living outside Australia as an NZ citizen on an SCV.
      I recommend you will have to contact Centrelink and ask them, or another financial service.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      Reply
  5. Peter

    June 25, 2022 at 3:20 pm

    Hi,
    My wife and I are retired and receive $2900 tax free fortnightly from the Government Superannuation Fund (as ex public sector employees).
    Will this be counted as income and in effect disqualify us from receiving the Australian Age pension.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      June 30, 2022 at 11:01 am

      Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your email.
      Unfortunately, I am not a financial adviser and can only share what information I’ve been able to find online.
      I recommend you talk to Work and Income if you are based in NZ or Centrelink if you are in Australia already.
      Have you tried the Age Pension calculator on SuperGuide (https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator)?
      There is a comment section at the bottom and they might be able to help you, as they know more about pensions than I do.
      When you find out, can you please let me know, as it will really help other visitors to my site?
      Thanks

      Reply
  6. Lucy

    June 23, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    Hi JJ

    Your website has been super helpful with my questions but I was just wondering if I could have some advice on my current situation.

    I am a NZ citizen, approaching 65 and wanting to move across the ditch to join my son and his family in Australia. Would I be eligible for Australian Age Pension once I start receiving it here in NZ and move across? I have worked in NZ for about 10 years and have lived here for nearly 20.
    I plan on selling my current home which is valued at about $600,000 and am aware that is above the assets threshold so how would that effect the pension I receive?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
    Thank you
    Kind regards
    Lucy

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      June 30, 2022 at 11:44 am

      Hi Lucy,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Unfortunately, I am not a financial adviser and can only share what information I’ve been able to find online.
      However, you don’t need to wait until you are receiving the pension here to move, as you have worked in NZ for 10 years you are eligible for the Australian pension when you turn 65 in both countries.
      Regarding the asset test, are you planning on buying a house in Australia? As your home is not counted as an asset.
      This age pension calculator will be able to help you work out how much pension you will receive in Australia: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      Hope the above helps. Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
      • Kien

        August 12, 2022 at 4:57 pm

        Hi JJ
        My mother in law turns 65 in January 2023 and has been living in AU for 5 years, but before that worked in NZ for 15 years running her own business.
        She is a NZ citizen, Can you claim the age pension when she turns 65 in AU or does she need to go back to NZ.
        Everyone I’ve asked said you need to be 67 before you can get the pension in AU.

        Reply
        • JJ Smith

          August 16, 2022 at 1:40 pm

          Hi Kien,
          Thanks for your comment.
          Yes, your mother in law will not be eligible to receive the Australia age pension until she is 66.5 years old.
          She would need to move back to NZ to receive the NZ pension at 65 years old.
          Please note, that I am not a financial adviser and can only communicate what I’ve researched online. You can always contact Work and Income and Centrelink to get clarification.
          Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

          Reply
  7. Allison Butters

    June 22, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    Hi I am a single 72 year old , I have a house in nz
    If I sold my house in nz and bought one in Australia for AUD 550k then transfer my remaining cash to Australia I would have house in Australia worth 550k in retirement village and approx AUD 300,000 cash
    Would I still be able to claim full pension In Australia

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 1, 2022 at 10:45 am

      Hi Allison,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I’ve put the information you’ve given me into the age pension calculator and this is the outcome:
      Total value of assets: $300,000
      Deemed income from investments: $5,615 (total income)
      Per person per fortnight $927.60
      So you won’t be penalized too much for the $300,000 cash (full amount $967.50). Here is the link to the calculator: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      I recommend you sell your house before you leave NZ, so you don’t have to pay capital gains tax in Australia. You can read more about that here: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/buying-a-house-in-australia/.
      To make sure you keep the majority of your money when you transfer it to Australia, I recommend you transfer it through XE. Here is my Foreign Exchange/Money Transfer post that explains how the process works: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/foreign-exchange-money-transfer/.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  8. Dave

    June 10, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Hello
    Kiwis getting the pension in Australia appears to be quite a complex issue – to me anyway. Can I please ask you if you would mind telling us how much our pension would be reduced if, eg, we have:
    A freehold house valued at say $1.2 milion.
    A car.
    Furniture in the house.
    $500K in investments.
    Thank you.
    Regards
    Dave

    Reply
  9. Suzanne Dennis Lillian Margaret Dennis

    May 29, 2022 at 10:17 am

    Hi JJ
    I have lived in Australia since 1980.

    I am turning 65 next month and was wondering am I entiled to the Australian pension.

    I am a permanant resident and have worked the whole time I haved lived here.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      June 13, 2022 at 2:56 pm

      Hi Suzanne,
      Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      I cannot see any reason why you wouldn’t be entitled to the Australia pension.
      You will still have to pass the income and asset tests. You can use this Age Pension calculator to work out how much you will receive: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      I recommend you contact Centerlink about applying.
      Thanks

      Reply
  10. Roxanne

    May 18, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Hi JJ,
    My New Zealand husband has been living in Australia for around 15 years, he was born in 1972. He was worked full time since he was 15 and now self employed.
    I have lived in Australia my whole life and was born in 1975. I have also worked full time since I was 17/18 taking a few years off to raise my two children.
    Would we be entitled to an Australian and would he get a portion of the New Zealand pension.
    He was told that anyone born 1971 and after there is no pension available to them in Oz.
    Thank you
    Regards,
    Roxanne

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 19, 2022 at 11:49 am

      Hi Roxanne,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Who did he get advice from?
      I have never come across anything that supports a NZ citizen born 1971 and after isn’t eligible for an Australian pension.
      Everything that I have read online, which is a lot, says that you would both be eligible for the Australia pension under Australia’s international social security agreement with New Zealand.
      It would only be if he didn’t pass the income and asset tests.
      I recommend you contact Centrelink and talk to a representative for confirmation of the above.
      Please let me know if I am wrong, as it will help a lot of other New Zealanders.
      Thanks

      Reply
  11. Jean

    May 7, 2022 at 10:10 am

    Hi,
    I have just discovered your website and I am 100% sure it will be more than useful with your information, detail, tips and apparent honesty about what is necessary to move myself from Tauranga to Melbourne. However it is all very overwhelming and I have not been able to zone in on one particular important factor.
    I am a NZ citizen, nearly 70, and live mortgage free in Tauranga. I would like to move to Melbourne to be nearer my children. My most important decision is do I sell my house (perhaps get $600k) or rent it out (could get $500 pw). Instinct tells me that I should rent because I could possibly/probably pay less than that to rent for a couple of years, then sell in NZ and buy a smaller retirement unit in Melbourne.
    My concern is – how does this affect the means testing for my AU pension? I am not looking to ‘make’ money from my rental, but would love it to be enough to cover the cost of my rent. Will this be penalised with a reduced pension?
    I need to make the decision to sell or rent out in Tauranga before I can do anything else. Please can you point me to the correct place in your web site – or any other Australian website – that would explain the process in simple language.
    I have already had many sleepless nights with this process – I am hopeful that you and your website will be able to make it a bit easier for me.
    Many thanks,
    Jean

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 12, 2022 at 12:37 am

      Hi Jean,
      Thank you for your message.
      Australia pension is income and asset tested. Everything is explained on this page : https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/can-a-nz-citizen-get-an-australian-benefit-or-pension/#AustraliaAgePensionPaymentRates.
      Here are the calculations for the figures you gave me (perhaps $600k, rental $500 pw)…
      If you are a single person then the $1,000 fortnightly income puts you well above the $180 income rules for pensioners. If you are a couple it is $320 which you are still well above. You will lose 50 cents for each dollar you are over $180 (1000 – 180 = 820, 820 x .5 = $410).
      Your asset of $600,000 is over the single asset limit for non-home owners of $487,000, as your home is an overseas asset (600,000 – 487,000 = 113,000, 113,000 ÷ 250 = $452).
      882.20 – single pension max rate
      410 – minus your income
      452 – minus your assets
      $20.20 – left of your pension.
      Where as if you sold your home before you left you won’t have the income or the asset and then your assets would be tested on anything additional up to $270,500 for home owners. The cost of your home is not taken into consideration.
      You also need to calculate the capital gains tax you will have to pay after you sell your home in NZ while living in Australia: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/buying-a-house-in-australia/#CapitalGainsTax.
      Therefore you either live off your rental in NZ or off the Australian pension.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  12. Susan English

    April 30, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    I am a 78 year old woman. I was born in the UK in1944, moved to New Zealand in 1965. I have my New Zealand citizenship. I moved to the UK in 2006 as my father died to care for my 90 year old mother. I had completed 35 years working in New Zealand. After my mother passed I have continued to live here in the UK. I received a British pension as I had worked 35 years.
    My three children, all born in New Zealand, moved to Australia where they have now lived for,the past 20 years. As I am here alone in the UK they want me to live with them in Australia.
    Can you please advise me whether I would be eligible for Medicare in Australia.
    Many thanks.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 13, 2022 at 2:17 pm

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
      That’s very exciting that you will be moving to be with your children. Family is everything to me.
      As an NZ Citizen you are eligible for Medicare Australia. However you do need to either be living in Australia for 6 months or provide proof that you’ll be living here for the next 6 months: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/medicare-australia/.
      I know you are able to transfer your UK pension to Australia and there are a lot of companies that would help you do that.
      Here is the international contact information for Services Australia. They should be able to answer any questions you have regarding Medicare, transferring your pension and anything else you are concerned about: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/how-we-can-help-with-international-services?context=22471.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  13. Sarah

    April 23, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    Hi JJ
    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?
    Ty
    Sarah

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 12, 2022 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
      Here is the link to an Australian government website My Aged Care. It looks fantastic and offers help in lots of areas including financial.: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/.
      On their financial support and advice page you can find organisations that can help and other helpful info: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/financial-support-and-advice.
      Have a read of the above and if you have any questions you can call them and they will point you in the right direction.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
  14. Wayne

    March 2, 2022 at 5:50 am

    Hi
    My wife and I are thinking of moving to Melbourne to be near three of our children. I receive the NZ pension; my wife doesn’t currently qualify. My question is in regard to asset tests, if we sell our property in NZ and transfer the money to Aussie this would put us way above the $405,000 threshold. I note you need to apply for the pension in Aussie within 4 weeks after arrival, however we would not have bought a property in Aussie in that timeframe. Once we buy a property this would probably mean we would be below the asset threshold and qualify for the pension. Do they take into account you plan to buy a home with the money you have before applying asset tests?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      March 2, 2022 at 11:29 pm

      Hi Wayne,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Yes they do take into account that you are a non-home owner.
      You have 26 weeks to buy a home in Australia, as you will receive your NZ pension until then. You need to apply earlier, before you’ve been in Australia for 4 weeks.
      You will be asset tested at the high limit (non-home owners) for couples, which is $621,500. And I’m sure they will re-test your assets after you have brought a home. I do recommend you discuss this with Centrerlink when you collect the forms.
      Have a read from here: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/can-a-nz-citizen-get-an-australian-benefit-or-pension/#AlreadyreceiveaNZpayment.
      Make sure you have a good read of my foreign exchange post, as you will save thousands if you are transferring over enough to buy a home: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/foreign-exchange-money-transfer/.
      XE are a extremely trustworthy company with a fantastic customer support team. You can talk to them on the phone about any concerns you have, or jump right into their app and discover everything you need to know.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  15. Sandy

    February 19, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    I am 69, receiving the NZ pension and want to relocate to Sydney to be close to my son and granddaughter. I have some investment income and own my own home. Will I be able to receive Aus pension more or less equivalent to NZ payment … which i would need to live in Sydney? Or would I have to return to NZ for a couple of weeks twice a year. I really want to make this move but don’t want to find i just can’t afford it

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 21, 2022 at 2:09 am

      Hi Sandy,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Your income can reduce how much you will get paid. The test will assess your income from all sources. If you’re over the limit, you get a lower pension. These are the income rules for most single pensioners:
      – Single person with income up to $180 per fortnight – you will get full pension.
      – Single person with income over $180 per fortnight – your pension will reduce by 50 cents for each dollar over $180.
      Here is the link so you can see how much you can get, which for a single person is between $882.20 – $967.50: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/how-much-age-pension-you-can-get?context=22526.
      If you decide to move you would need to sell your NZ home before you leave, so it doesn’t add to your income and overseas assets. You would you would also have to pay tax and stamp duty on the sale if you sold once living in Australia.
      You would then buy a new home in Australia, as your home does not get calculated into your assets.
      Assets include any:
      – financial investments
      – home contents, personal effects and vehicles
      – 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.
      If you are a homeowner your asset value limit is lower than someone who does not own their residence. The asset value limit is the amount of assets a person can own before their pension or payment will reduce from the maximum rate under the assets test.
      Example: Currently the asset value limit for a single service pension homeowner is $270,500 and for a single service pension non-homeowner is $487,000. The current maximum rate of single service pension is $967.50.
      A single homeowner on service pension has $501,250 in assets. Their rate of pension under the assets test would equal $275.25 a fortnight.
      If the same person was a non-homeowner their rate of pension would equal $924.75 a fortnight.
      For more information on how the assets test works, refer to Assets Test: https://www.dva.gov.au/financial-support/income-support/what-changes-your-payments/your-income-and-assets/assets-test.
      There is also the option of ‘gifting’ extra assets. However, I haven’t been able to find any advise on doing this before you leave NZ so it is not part of your asset test. Here is some general info on gifting: https://aware.com.au/blog/gifting-rules.
      I hope the above helped. Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply

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