Supplementary benefits

Training Incentive Allowance

Costs covered

A Training Incentive Allowance provides non-taxable assistance to people undertaking employment-related training. The training must:

The allowance contributes toward the fees, course costs and associated costs (eg transport, childcare) faced by trainees and students. It may be paid as:

A Training Incentive Allowance may be used to fund the education and training included in an individual’s employment plan or Personal Development and Employment Plan. Personal Development and Employment Plans were introduced in March 2003 for people receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit or a Widow’s Benefit, and were replaced by employment plans from September 2010.

From May 2009, the Training Incentive Allowance was no longer available to clients undertaking qualifications at National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 4. Since February 2011, assistance with training costs for these courses has been available to recipients of a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent through Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent Study Assistance (see next section ‘Sole Parent Study Assistance’).


The Training Incentive Allowance is available to people who are receiving:

From 1 January 2007, in addition to the above criteria, clients are required to be involved in courses that:

Quality and relevance criteria for courses are specified by the Tertiary Education Commission’s quality and relevance standards for Student Loans and Student Allowances. Courses that meet these criteria but are not Student Achievement Component funded include:

Numbers granted a Training Incentive AllowanceTop

The number granted a Training Incentive Allowance once or more in the calendar year decreased between 2009 and 2011

This decrease (see table TI.1) followed comparatively little change between 2007 and 2009. This pattern reflected a combination of:

Four in five recipients of a Training Incentive Allowance were receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit

Between 2007 and 2011, around 81% of clients granted a Training Incentive Allowance were receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit (see table TI.1).

table TI.1: Main benefits received by clients granted a Training Incentive Allowance

Type of main benefit received when first Training Incentive Allowance payment in the year was granted Clients granted a Training Incentive Allowance1
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Domestic Purposes Benefits 10,961 10,120 9,898 5,051 3,181  
Invalid’s Benefit 2,378 2,435 2,256 1,085 631
Widow’s Benefit 198 157 144 71 42
Total 13,537 12,712 12,298 6,207 3,854


  1. The number of clients with one or more successful applications for a Training Incentive Allowance recorded in SWIFTT during years ended December.