New Zealand residents are entitled to receive NZ Super (the old age pension) if they satisfy all of the following conditions. They must:

  • have reached State pension age (currently age 65);
  • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident;
  • live in New Zealand;
  • have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since age 20;
  • have lived in New Zealand for at least 5 years since age 50.

Residence in a country with which New Zealand has reciprocal social security arrangements (like Australia and the UK) counts as residence in New Zealand.



The benefit is linked directly to the national average wage and is reviewed each year (1 April). The current level is 66% of the net national average wage.

The pension is taxed as income in the normal way under the PAYE system.

There are no income or asset tests applied to NZ Super. However, if one partner of a couple qualifies and the other does not, both may receive the benefit, but an income test applies in respect of the benefit paid to the partner that does not qualify in their own right.

However, entitlements to an overseas social security pension (like the UK’s Basic State Pension) but not work-related, employer-provided pensions, reduce the New Zealand pension by the equivalent amount.


New Zealand Superannuation rates – from 1 April 2017


Before tax (gross)

Post-tax (net) 

a year

a week

a year

a week

Single, living alone





Single, sharing





Married couple one qualifies





Married couple both qualify





New Zealand Superannuation is paid fortnighly. The next change is due 1 April 2018.

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