Advice on travelling overseas and your New Zealand Superannuation

By Julia Bergman, MSD’s General Manager – International, Disability and Generational Policy

With the international border reopened and the global environment settling into a new normal, you may be thinking about spending some time overseas. If you are planning an overseas trip, you may be able to continue receiving your New Zealand Superannuation (NZS) or Veteran’s Pension (VP) but there are a few important things to note before you go.

Travelling overseas for 26 weeks or less – If you travel overseas your NZS payments can continue for up to 26 weeks while you’re away provided you return to New Zealand within 30 weeks. You must remain ordinarily resident in New Zealand, meaning that you primarily live in New Zealand and consider it your home.

If you receive any other payments from the Ministry of Social Development, such as the Winter Energy Payment (WEP) or Accommodation Supplement, these will stop if you are away from New Zealand for more than 28 days. The Winter Energy Payment is payable up to 28 days during the winter period from 1 May to 1 October.

Travelling overseas for more than 26 weeks – If you intend to travel overseas for more than 26 weeks, you must apply for General Portability payments at least six weeks before you leave New Zealand. To be eligible to receive portable payments you need to have qualified for NZS in your own right and be ordinarily resident in New Zealand when you apply.

General Portability payments are not the same as your full NZS entitlement and instead reflect the number of years you have resided in New Zealand, meaning the amount you get depends on your individual situation.

If you do not apply for General Portability payments before you leave and stay away longer than 26 weeks then you risk losing your payments and may also be required to repay the 26 weeks of payment you received.

We’re here to help – MSD’s International Services team specialise in paying New Zealand benefits and pensions overseas. They are the best people to contact for any questions about getting your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension if you want to travel or live overseas.

For more information, or to make an application for General Portability payments, please contact us at:

International Services, Ministry of Social Development,
PO Box 27-178, Wellington 6141, NZ. Ph (from NZ): 0800 777 227.
Email international.services@msd.govt.nz
www.workandincome.govt.nz/pensions/travelling-or-moving/going-overseas-super

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