Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced proposed changes to New Zealand’s superannuation requirements that will make the system fairer for residents of Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.
“The New Zealand Cabinet has agreed to make changes to the eligibility requirements for receiving New Zealand Superannuation and the Veteran’s Pension that will help level the playing field for people residing in the Realm counties,” Mr Peters says.
“Under the current system people must have lived in New Zealand for five years after turning 50 in order to be eligible for New Zealand Super. We will now allow residency in Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau after the age of 50 to count towards the eligibility requirements.
“This will mean that people who are eligible for New Zealand Super will be able to remain in these countries and contribute to the local economy without having to return to New Zealand just to qualify for their pension.
“These are changes which the Governments of Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau have advocated for. We will continue to work with them to ensure New Zealand’s superannuation requirements recognise the special constitutional relationships we have with the Realm countries,” Mr Peters says.
Minister for Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni will continue to progress these changes as a matter of priority.
The changes will take place by no later than January 2019.