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

New Zealanders who are 65 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.

Under Australia’s international social security agreement with New Zealand, NZ citizens living in Australia can apply for the Australian Age Pension (if over the age of 65), 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.

Australian age pensions are asset and income tested, so any assets or income a New Zealander has will affect the amount payable. 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 65).

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.

Information in this post:

Australia Age Pension Payment Rates

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

Australia age pension rates:

Per fortnightSingleCouple eachCouple combinedCouple apart due to ill health
Maximum basic rate$882.20$665$1,330$882.20
Maximum Pension Supplement$71.20$53.70$107.40$71.20
Energy Supplement$14.10$10.60$21.20$14.10
Total$967.50$729.30$1,458.60$967.50

* Rates as per 1 March 2022. Check here for updated rates: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/how-much-age-pension-you-can-get?context=22526

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.

Standard Income Rules

These are the income rules for most pensioners.

Single person

Income per fortnightAmount your pension will reduce by
Up to $180$0
Over $18050 cents for each dollar over $180

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

Combined income per fortnightAmount your combined pension will reduce by
Up to $320$0
Over $32050 cents for each dollar over $320

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 statusLow limit (home owners)High limit (non-home owners)
Singles$270,500$487,000
Couples* – combined$405,000$621,500

* Includes illness separated and respite care couples.

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.

Examples:

  • Single person, who is not a home owner, has assets of $187,000. The maximum rate of pension or veteran payment will be paid because the amount of these assets is less than $487,000 (the high limit for singles).
  • A couple, who own their home, have assets of $422,000 (this does not include the value of their home). Their pension or veteran payment will be paid at a reduced rate because their assets are more than $405,000 (the low limit for couples).

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

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 65), 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) 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 of the above is from the New Zealanders in Australia: a quick guide on the Parliament of Australia website: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1617/Quick_Guides/NZAust

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 you 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 a 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 a 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.

To do this you need to apply for an Australian Age Pension through your local Centrelink office within 26 weeks of leaving NZ.

If Centrelink grant you an Australian Age Pension, they will send you a 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.

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 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 document ready: proof of your identity (eg passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate or driver licence), your bank account details, and any doctors’ or specialists’ reports, if you receive the 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 KiwiSaver transfer form
  • Transfer your KiwiSaver balance
  • Complete documentation of your choosen 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 Australia 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 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

There are a number of organisations that offer free services that can inform you about things like how to build savings, how to prepare for retirement, and what options you have with your pension.

  • 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 elgibility
  • 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.

 

Still got 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.

45 Comments

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Sarah

    October 15, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Hi my Dad aged 74 is looking at moving to Australia. He has a fair amount of money etc. I see from research that to receive a Pension in Australia you under go means and asset testing. Is there anyway my Dad can still receive his NZ payments and live in Australia full time?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      October 19, 2021 at 3:14 am

      Hi Sarah,
      You are going to have to call the IRD and ask them if he can still receive his NZ pension.
      If he doesn’t pass the Australian pension asset and income tests, then the only way I can see him able to continue to receive his NZ pension is returning to NZ twice a year so he is not out of the country for more than 26 weeks. This would be tricky if he has health issues and of course we are all subject to the current Covid restrictions.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
  7. Sherryl

    July 26, 2021 at 4:19 am

    Hi JJ
    My name is Sherryl and i live in NZ. I am on th nz retirement benefit and have my 15 year old neice that lives with I am receving an Orphans benefit for her. I am going to come to aussie to be with my family and wanted to know if you have any info on this. Whether i can still get this in Au. Her mum is also Australian
    Thanks

    Reply
  8. John Fletcher

    May 6, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Hello I am a 70yr old kiwi born Oz citizen. I moved to OZ in 1979. I am currently an Age Pension recipient in OZ but wish to return to NZ permanently as I have family there. Thank you

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 13, 2021 at 10:41 pm

      Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment.
      New Zealand Superannuation is the age pension. Australian citizens or former residents (including New Zealanders returning after living in Australia) may be eligible for the age pension if they meet eligibility criteria.
      Generally, eligibility is based upon residency in New Zealand for not less than ten years since the age of 20, including five years or more since the age of 50.
      Under the social security agreement between Australia and New Zealand, periods of residence in Australia may be recognised for the purposes of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation.
      New Zealand Superannuation is not income or assets tested, but receipt of an Australian pension may affect payment rates.
      Here is the link to Work and Income who you will need to apply through. However, you cannot apply until you are in NZ.: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/map/income-support/main-benefits/new-zealand-superannuation/introduction.html.
      Here is the eligibility requirements that apply to you:
      – be deemed to hold a residence class visa in New Zealand under the Immigration Act 2009 (eg Australian citizens or residents) and
      – be ordinarily resident in New Zealand on the date of application (except where the client is applying from the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau under Special Portability).
      Further questions? Get help from the Work and Income NZ Superannuation team by calling anytime Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm on 1800 150 479 (from Australia).
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
    • pam

      May 17, 2021 at 1:19 am

      Hi
      I am a 68 yr old NZ citizen who has been living and working in Australia for 9 years. If I went back to NZ for a couple of years and then returned to Australia to live permanently , do I have to be in Australia again for a certain period of time before I can receive the Age Pension?

      Reply
      • JJ Smith

        May 17, 2021 at 10:02 pm

        Hi Pam,
        Thank you for your comment.
        I’ve included all the information I can find online in the post you have read. Unfortunately I can’t give you a definitive answer.
        From what I know, you will be able to return to Australia after living in NZ for a couple of years and still get the pension because of the social security agreement.
        However, I recommend you visit your local Centerlink office or call them on
        132 300, Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm, to get confirmation.
        Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

        Reply
  9. lorraine Brunton

    April 28, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    My question is my husband and I are thinking about a possible move to Melbourne. My husband has a medical condition which is treated here in New Zealand at the public hospital every 2 months in a day ward. Would this be something that could continued in Australia?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 2, 2021 at 11:56 pm

      Hi Lorraine,
      Thank you for your comment.
      New Zealanders on an SCV are eligible for Medicare where we get free treatment as a public hospital patient: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/medicare-australia/.
      If you want to email me more about his condition I can research it further for you. However, if you get free treatment in NZ, then you should get free treatment in Australia through Medicare.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  10. Patricia Morgan

    February 1, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Hi JJ,
    Firstly thanks so much for your website – I am a New Zealander living in Australia, I’ve been here since 2006 and am wondering about staying (I’m now 64), or going back to New Zealand. I am able to apply for Australian Citizenship though it will take somewhere between 13-17 months for my application to be processed, and there is a chance that I wouldn’t get it. As I am close to retirement I’m wondering if it is worth applying for Australian Citzenship and probably more importantly if being a dual citizen will impact my ability to get the old age pension if I go back to live in New Zealand? Would you know about the impacts of dual citizenship on eligability for the New Zealand old age pension for a New Zealander who has Australian citizenship living in New Zealand? Thanks for your help with this. All the best, Patricia

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 4, 2021 at 1:46 am

      Hi Patricia,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately the information I have in my Can a NZ citizen get an Australian benefit or pension? post is all the information I have.
      Neither Centrelink or Work and Income have been able to give me further information, as their too many variables depending on a person’s circumstances.
      From what I understand, being a Australia Citizen does not change your eligibility to get the Australia pension.
      I recommend you call Centerlink and ask them your questions and even Work and Income in NZ.
      If you have any advice for further readers of my blog, please reply and I will update my site. As mentioned above, it’s hard to get good advice.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Thanks

      Reply
  11. Bevan

    January 24, 2021 at 4:09 am

    Hi JJ,
    I have been living in Aus on a SCV since 1998 and recently qualified for a part Aus Pension after the income and asset test. Can I now apply for NZ Super payment as well. Also, my wife is now 65, is she able to apply for NZ Super now as she’s not eligible for Aus pension until she’s 66.5 years old.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 4, 2021 at 1:45 am

      Hi Bevan,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately the information I have in my Can a NZ citizen get an Australian benefit or pension? post is all the information I have.
      Neither Centrelink or Work and Income have been able to give me further information, as their too many variables depending on a person’s circumstances.
      I recommend you and your wife call Work and Income in NZ and ask them: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/about-work-and-income/contact-us/phone-numbers.html.
      If you have any advice for further readers of my blog, please reply and I will update my site. As mentioned above, it’s hard to get good advice.
      Also, if you are eligible, then make sure you setup and account with OFX or XE so you are not charged extra fees when you transfer your pension from NZ to Australia: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/foreign-exchange-money-transfer/.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Thanks

      Reply
  12. John

    August 2, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    Hi,
    I am over 65, single, and are currently getting my Super An. in New Zealand.My plan is to move to Western Australia where my brother work and live.What I do know is that I can go and apply for Super An. in Australia and I will get it if I qualify.
    What I do NOT know is….will I qualify for the same medical benefits as a Australian citizen??
    Thanks

    Reply
  13. Louise

    July 12, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    Hi,

    My Dad is living in Australia and has been there for 12 years. He is now 70 and still working full-time. Would he be entitled to anything?

    Louise

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 20, 2020 at 11:59 pm

      Hi Louise,
      Thank you for your comment.
      As you would have read in my post if he lives in Australia he may qualify for a benefit or pension from both Australia and New Zealand. As stated, he must apply for a benefit or pension in both countries.
      Senior Services International uses certain criteria to decide who can receive a 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.
      He will need to get application forms from his local Centerlink office or call Centerlink International Services regarding the Australian Super.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
  14. Sherryl

    July 7, 2020 at 7:29 am

    Hi

    I am a NZ citizen i did live in Australia when I was young for two years.
    I have half my family in Perth and Sunshine Coast.
    I would like to retire in Australia to be close to grand kids but could I get a pension
    Either Australian or NZ?
    Would this be an option for me?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 21, 2020 at 12:19 am

      Hi Sherryl,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Yes you will be eligible for either or both NZ and Australia pensions and once you have moved over you will need to apply for the Australian pension, along with the NZ pension.
      Senior Services International uses certain criteria to decide who can receive a 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.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
  15. Rachel

    June 10, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Hi there,
    My parents are wanting to relocate to Australia. They are both over 65 and in receipt of NZ pension. They haven’t lived in Australia, however they have lived in NZ all their adult lives. My question is, to be eligible for pension in Australia (subject to income and assets test) would they have had to live and work in Australia previously? Or is their time in New Zealand sufficient.
    Thanks you!

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      June 10, 2020 at 10:51 pm

      Hi Rachel,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Are your parents NZ Citizens? If they are then they will be covered by the New Zealand Social Security Agreement with Australia. So if they pass they income and asset tests then they will be eligible.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
      • Rachel Tyrrell

        May 3, 2021 at 5:35 am

        Hi! Just saw your reply. Yes they are both NZ citizens
        Thank you!
        Rachel

        Reply
  16. Stan Ford

    March 29, 2020 at 4:23 am

    I am from NZ have worked in AU for 7 years, lost my job because of the virus , have little money can’t fly back home , can I get some help from some ware , desperate for money.

    Reply
  17. Lisa

    January 25, 2020 at 6:43 am

    Hi everyone, I lived in Sydney for 17 years and have come back to NZ but want go back to Australia in a few years to spend the rest of my life…
    Will I be entitled to a pension.. I read that you need to have worked for at least ten years in Aussie, which I did but by the time I head back there will be 5/6 year gap.
    Any info much appreciated
    Cheers
    Lisa

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 5, 2020 at 1:37 am

      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I cannot find anywhere that it stats any gap in residing in Australia will effect your eligibility to receive the age pension.
      I recommend you contact Centerlink to confirm that you are eligible and how much you will receive, so you know exactly where you stand when making the move back: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/age-pension.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  18. Fran

    January 14, 2020 at 2:47 am

    Hi JJ
    I’m in my mid fifties and have lived and worked in Oz for almost 10 yrs on a non-protected SCV. I am thinking about my retirement (in 10+ yrs) and have been given conflicting information regarding eligibility for a pension. I have been told that I am not eligible for a Australian pension, and that I will not be eligible for a NZ pension if I haven’t worked and lived in NZ for at least 5 yrs before I retire…. 🙁 Can you let me know if it is worth becoming an Australian Permanent Resident (Partner Pathway; as I have an Australian partner for 6yrs) at the cost of $7500 + 2-3 yrs timeframe?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 3, 2020 at 10:52 pm

      Hi Fran,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
      From all my research online, I don’t agree with what you have been told. The Australia pension is asset and income tested, but apart from that you should be eligible.
      Have you spoken to Centerlink and the IRD? They are really the only people who will be able to assess you individual circumstances and let you know where you stand.
      If you aren’t able to get the Australian pension then it would be worth looking into becoming an Australian PR.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
  19. Sana

    June 23, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Hi JJ
    I’m a non protected SCV NZ citizen living in Australia since Jan 2010. I and my now 22 year old both have been living here since Jan 2010.
    I have worked all along with periods of unemployment where I got zero help from Continuing etc. I worry that I might get injured in a non-work situation (a NZ friend recently got injured recently) and being non-work related and with a 22yr old that is totally dependant on me (housing. Bills. Uni fees etc as he does not get HECS/student loan in Australia as we are not Australian citizens) I worry about how I’ll cope if couldn’t work due to an injury which cannot for example be classified as ‘severe disability ‘
    Does Work n Income help in such a situation or then does Centerlink help Nz citizens who are not Australian citizen? ( I cannot apply for permanent residency as I’m in my mid 50s and don’t meet the age requirement)
    If I got injured and couldnt work I would still want to remain here in OZ to be closer to my older son who is also employed here
    Please advise what happens in such a complex scenario?
    I mean I live and rent my older son’s house. Have furniture, car, etc etc for a comfortable life and it would be difficult to just pack and leave for nz in an emergency where I couldn’t work and couldnt have money for my regular bills until I got better after an injury/surgery/etc which are not of a permanent disability nature. But I would still need help to get through that difficult period where I couldn’t work n pay my bills n rent etc
    Please advise what the law is on such a borderline situation?
    Thanks :))

    Reply
  20. Bess

    May 30, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Kia ora,
    I am a superannuant..my husband is not.
    We would like to move to Perth,closer to children & help out with grandchildren…
    Our children are there due to good jobs,as there ain’t any here in Whitianga…
    Do you know of people like us who have done this,that can advise us.
    I am heavily involved in community affairs am a JP…work part time in my own digital embroidery business.& church business.
    No medical problems.”.clean bill of health.
    …just want to be wth kids & grandkids now.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      June 9, 2019 at 11:57 pm

      Hi Bess,
      Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      I see that you have read my post – Can a NZ citizen get an Australian benefit or pension? Hopefully this answered most of your questions regarding getting the pension in Australia.
      I don’t have anyone that I can put you in touch with, but am happy to try answer any specific questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
      • Bess

        June 25, 2019 at 11:22 pm

        Kia ora,
        I’m wanting to talk to someone who has sold up & bought over i Perth /Aus ..to be with whanau & mokopuna.
        We love our home here in Whitianga,but our kids are all working in Perth…& have been for years.
        We now want to move over & be close to them & help out …with the time we have left.
        Kia ora
        Bess

        Reply

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