NZ closer to improved Pacific pension portability

New Zealand‘s Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, says better access to Superannuation or the Veteran‘s Pension for people in the realm countries has moved a step closer.

Carmel Sepuloni Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate – Cox

Parliament yesterday heard the first reading of amendments to the Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) bill.

Ms Sepuloni said the changes would allow people applying for New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran‘s Pension in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau, to be able to use residency in any of those places to meet the requirement of five years residence over the age of 50.

Currently a person must have been resident and present in New Zealand for 10 years after the age of 20, and for five years after the age of 50.

Ms Sepuloni said removing the over the age of 50 requirement would help boost economic development and human resource capacity in the island nations.

She said it not only applied to people from the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau but all New Zealanders who qualify for Superannuation or the Veteran‘s Pensions would be able to transfer their pensions to the islands if they were eligible to live there.