Can I rely on a state pen­sion?

Matamata Chronicle - - Retirement -

NEW Zealand Su­per­an­nu­a­tion (NZ Su­per) is a pen­sion paid by the state to most New Zealand res­i­dents from age 65 un­til death.

To be el­i­gi­ble for NZ Su­per you need to be aged 65 or over and a legal res­i­dent of New Zealand, hav­ing lived here for 10 years since age 20. Five of those years have to be since you turned age 50.

If you are close to re­tire­ment and want to know more pre­cisely the level of New Zealand Su­per­an­nu­a­tion you would be en­ti­tled to (and in­for­ma­tion about sup­ple­ments, over­seas pen­sion is­sues, etc) con­tact Work and In­come on 0800 552 002 or visit www.workand­in­come.govt.nz.

The level of pay­ment is re­viewed each year and is ad­justed to take ac­count of in­creases in cost of liv­ing (in­fla­tion) and wages. When wages in­crease, NZ Su­per is ad­justed so that it stays be­tween 66 per cent to 72.5 per cent of av­er­age or­di­nary time earn­ings af­ter tax. This means for couples both over 65, their pen­sions, af­ter tax, will not fall be­low 66 per cent of the av­er­age or­di­nary time wage af­ter tax. For sin­gle peo­ple the pen­sion is about 40 per cent of that av­er­age wage.

No, fu­ture pen­sion pay­ments are not guar­an­teed, but Par­lia­ment needs to ap­prove any sig­nif­i­cant change. New Zealand has had a form of state-funded re­tire­ment in­come for over 100 years. El­i­gi­bil­ity, pay­ment lev­els and other con­di­tions have changed many times over that pe­riod. The changes have re­flected dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal views as well as changes in so­ci­ety, econ­omy, the labour mar­ket and other fac­tors. The present gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy is to re­tain the ex­ist­ing en­ti­tle­ments for the fore­see­able fu­ture. Com­ments from other ma­jor par­ties sug­gest that changes for peo­ple in and near re­tire­ment are un­likely. How­ever, there are as­pects of re­tire­ment in­come pol­icy which con­tinue to be de­bated. As gov­ern­ments change and so­ci­ety’s views change no one can rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of amend­ments.

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