Veteran’s Pension was introduced on 1 April 1990 and replaced the former War Veterans’ Allowance, War Pension, War Service Pension and Economic Pension.
On 1 July 1999, the funding for Veteran’s Pension was transferred from Vote Work and Income to Vote Veterans’ Affairs – Work and Income. In subsequent years, the funding of Veteran’s Pension remained in Vote Veterans’ Affairs.
Funding for Veteran’s Pension is now in Vote Veterans’ Affairs – Social Development.
Veteran’s Pension is available to ex-service personnel who have served in a war or an emergency and who are:
To qualify for a Veteran’s Pension, these clients must also:
Surviving spouses or partners of Veteran’s Pension recipients may choose to continue receiving a Veteran’s Pension at the single person rate.
A policy change in 1992 allowed veterans receiving New Zealand Superannuation to transfer to a Veteran’s Pension.
Veteran’s Pension is not income tested except where:
Qualified recipients aged under 65 who have no spouse included in their pension are subject to a personal earnings test only.
Clients receiving a Veteran’s Pension may receive supplementary benefits to help them meet the necessary costs of living. These supplementary benefits are income tested and/or asset tested in the same way as for clients receiving supplementary benefits while being paid New Zealand Superannuation or a main benefit.
The payment rates for Veteran’s Pension are set by legislation. At the ‘M’ tax rate, the combined after-tax amount of Veteran’s Pension 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, while a single person sharing accommodation receives 60% of the married couple rate.
Veteran’s Pension payments are taxable.
Table VP.1 shows rates for Veteran’s Pension payable from 1 April 2012.
table VP.1: Weekly payment rates for Veteran’s Pension (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 a Veteran’s Pension decreased slightly between 2009 and 2012
This pattern (see table VP.2) reflected a combination of:
Table VP.3 shows the reduction in the number of veterans becoming newly eligible for a Veteran’s Pension or transferring from New Zealand Superannuation.
Over three in five Veteran’s Pension recipients were aged 80 or over
Between 2008 and 2012, 64% of Veteran’s Pension recipients were aged 80 or over (see table VP.2). Another 22% were aged 70–79.
table VP.2: Ages of clients receiving a Veteran’s Pension
|Age of client at the end of June||Clients receiving a Veteran’s Pension1|
|Under 60 years||218||183||138||129||121|
|90 years or over||859||1,077||1,251||1,434||1,682|
The reduction in grants of Veteran’s Pension (see table VP.3) was driven in large part by the reduction in transfers to Veteran’s Pension. The ageing client base means the number of client deaths is more than the number of new clients.
table VP.3: Periods since clients granted a Veteran’s Pension last received financial assistance
|Period since client last received any pension or main benefit||Grants of a Veteran’s Pension1|
|None (clients transferring from another pension or a main benefit)||1,439||1,017||413||364||321|
|Under 1 year||6||5||6||3||5|
|Had not received financial assistance in the previous 4 years||151||203||157||126||120|
Small numbers of those aged 65 or over were receiving a Veteran’s Pension
In 2012, an estimated 1.5% of those aged 65 or over were receiving a Veteran’s Pension, down from 1.9% in 2008.
Those aged 90 or over became more likely to be receiving a Veteran’s Pension
Between 2008 and 2012, the proportion of those aged 90 or over receiving a Veteran’s Pension increased (from 4.2% to 6.6%). This pattern largely reflected the ageing of World War Two veterans and their partners or spouses.
See table OT.3 for trends since 1990 in the number of clients receiving a Veteran’s Pension.