New Zealand Superannuation is available to people who:
New Zealand Superannuation may be paid to people who:
People receiving New Zealand Superannuation on this basis do so as a ‘non-qualified spouse’.
New Zealand Superannuation is not income tested, except when a non-qualified spouse is included in the payment.
Clients receiving New Zealand Superannuation may receive supplementary benefits to help them meet the necessary costs of living. These supplementary benefits are income tested and/or asset tested, the same as they are for other clients receiving supplementary benefits.
People who do not meet these residency requirements may be eligible to receive an Emergency Benefit if they:
On 1 April 1992, the qualifying age for New Zealand Superannuation was increased from 60 years to 61 years. The qualifying age then increased by three months every six months from 1 April 1993 until it was fixed at 65 years from 1 April 2001.
Payment rates for New Zealand Superannuation are set by legislation. At the ‘M’ tax rate, the combined after-tax amount of New Zealand Superannuation payable to a married couple must be between 65% and 72.5% of the after-tax average ordinary-time weekly wage.
A single person living alone receives 65% of the rate payable to a married couple. A single person sharing accommodation receives 60% of the married couple rate.
Where one spouse or partner is a non-qualified spouse, there are two options available:
A client may at any time choose to include or exclude their non-qualifying spouse from their pension payment.
New Zealand Superannuation payments are made gross of tax. Recipients pay tax on this pension at the rate appropriate to their financial circumstances.
Table NZ.1 shows rates for New Zealand Superannuation payable from 1 April 2012.
table NZ.1: Weekly payment rates for New Zealand Superannuation (payable from 1 April 2012)
|Status1||Payment rate excluding tax paid at ‘M’ rate2,3||Payment rate excluding tax paid at ‘S’ rate2,3|
|Married, each, both qualify4||$268.40||$249.55|
|Married, each, only one qualifies5,6||$255.09||$236.24|
|Single, living alone4||$348.92||$330.07|
|Single, living with others4||$322.08||$303.23|
The number receiving New Zealand Superannuation increased between 2008 and 2012
This increase (see table NZ.2) reflected the impact of:
Over one in two of those receiving New Zealand Superannuation were aged 65–74
Over this period, 56% of New Zealand Superannuation recipients were aged 65–74 (see table NZ.2). Another 11% of these clients were aged 85 or over.
table NZ.2: Ages of clients receiving New Zealand Superannuation
|Age of client at the end of June||Clients receiving New Zealand Superannuation1|
|Under 60 years2||3,179||3,226||3,273||3,441||3,513|
|90 years or over||18,760||18,791||19,889||20,855||21,807|
Four in five of the clients granted New Zealand Superannuation were previously independent of the benefit system
Eighty-one percent of clients granted New Zealand Superannuation in 2011/2012 had not received a pension or a main benefit in the previous four years (see table NZ.3). This compared with 76% in 2007/2008.
There was a corresponding fall in the proportion of these clients who transferred from a pension or a main benefit (from 18% to 15%).
table NZ.3: Periods since clients granted New Zealand Superannuation last received
|Period since client last received any pension or main benefit||New Zealand Superannuation pensions granted1|
|None (clients transferring from another pension or from a main benefit)||7,252||7,458||7,454||7,742||8,549|
|Under 1 year||681||699||687||723||858|
|Had not received financial assistance in the previous 4 years||30,048||34,747||36,769||38,352||45,666|
Almost all people aged 65 or over were receiving New Zealand Superannuation
See table OT.3 for trends since 1940 in the number of clients receiving New Zealand Superannuation.
Those aged 65–69 were more likely than older people to be receiving New Zealand Superannuation
This reflected both growth in the number of people aged 80 or over and patterns in the use of Veteran’s Pension. Reflecting the ageing of those receiving Veteran’s Pension, the proportion of those aged 90 or over receiving New Zealand Superannuation decreased between 2008 and 2012 (from 92.2% to 85.9%) while the proportion of those aged 65–90 doing so increased.