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If you are planning a move to Australia for retirement, you need to seriously consider your superannuation. You may not be entitled to as much as you think you are.

If you are a New Zealander, you can receive NZ Superannuation which is transferable to Australia if you:

  • You are ordinarily a resident of NZ or Australia
  • You have been present in NZ for more than ten years since age 20, with five years of that since age 50
  • You have lived in NZ or Aussie continuously for at least one year since you turned 20
  • You are in NZ or Australia at the time of application
  • You are 65 or over

Henty Sweetwater Retirement Village
Henty Sweetwater Retirement Village by Mattinbgn

How long can you be in Australia before transferring to their pension?

If you are only planning a short trip, you will continue to receive New Zealand Super or Veterans Pension payments. This will continue seamlessly for up to 26 weeks after you exit NZ. Once that 26 weeks is up, you need to make some financial decisions. If you return within 30 weeks, you only receive payment for 26 weeks. If you don’t return within 30 weeks, you won’t be paid and you may be required to repay the money already paid.

Social security agreement between NZ and Australia

This agreement allows Kiwis on a Special Category Visa to access some social security income support payments in Australia. Namely, NZ superannuation, veterans pension and supported living payment. If other benefits are required, they will require Australian residency. There is also a two-year waiting period before being able to claim most other social security payments.

In general, if you have lived most of your life in New Zealand or Australia, you are eligible for superannuation payments from the Government.

How much money will I get in Australia for superannuation?

The amount you’ll get is the same as if you had lived in Australia your whole working life.

This is where you need to be very careful when making the decision to move to Australia for your golden years. Australian Age pensions are income and asset tested. So your financial position is assessed and your pension adjusted as a result.

The rate of NZ Super that is payable in Aussie cannot exceed the amount that is set by the Australian pension. This means that if a Kiwi’s assets/ financial position exceeds the level to access Australian pension, they cannot receive NZ Super in Australia.

Also if you have a partner under 65 included in your super or you receive any NZ supplementary benefits and allowances, these may not be included in the Australian Pension.

Centrelink Entrance Burnie
A Centrelink customer service centre in Burnie

How old to I have to be to qualify for the Australian pension?

The pension age in Australia is 65.5 as at July 2017. The age continues to increase by six months every two years up to 67 years in July 2023.

If you are entitled to apply for superannuation but your partner is not, your partner will not receive any payments. They can apply when they are old enough.

How do I apply for NZ Super in Australia?

Before you move to Australia, talk to WINZ to discuss your options. Call them on 0800 777 227 or email them on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You will need to visit a Centrelink office in Australia within 26 weeks of arrival if you are 65 or over. You must have the following paperwork:

  • Proof of identity (includes birth certificate, drivers licence or marriage certificate)
  • Passport
  • Travel itinerary/ tickets
  • Details of the bank account you want payments made to
  • Proof of assets and income
  • Entry visa/ passport showing your date of arrival in Australia (must be more than 26 weeks or show intention to reside in Australia for more than 12 months).
  • Employment/ tax records if you have lived in Australia for a long period
  • Proof of home ownership/ property/ residence

If Centrelink grant you an Australian pension, you will be required to fill out a NZ Superannuation application form. This allows them to work out how much you will be paid.

If you don’t apply within 26 weeks of your arrival in Australia, it is possible you won’t qualify for NZ Super/ Veterans Pension from the date you leave NZ. This may leave you with a debt to repay so it is wise to do the paperwork as soon as possible.

Can I move back to NZ and receive superannuation there?

Yes. Let Centrelink know before you leave Australia, and give WINZ a call to inform them. Once you’re back, speak to WINZ to have your superannuation reassessed.

Upcoming changes to NZ Super

A bill proposing changes to the NZ Superannuation qualifications is currently under debate in the house. Currently, if you reside in NZ for ten years (five of which are after 50) you are eligible for the state pension. The proposed new law raises this to 20 years after the age of 20, making the pension harder to obtain for people who have spent long periods outside of New Zealand. This is something you may need to think about should you be considering moving long term to Australia or other country.

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Unlike many other movers, we will provide you with a fixed quote based on your specific list of items.

Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

Our Service Promise:

Our Service Promise:

  • We will listen to your individual needs and requirements.
  • We will provide a prompt, competitive quote with in one working day.
  • We will provide you with the highest level of service.
Free In-Home Consultation:

Free In-Home Consultation:

If you are moving the majority of your household items from New Zealand to Australia, one of Ausmoves experienced relocation consultants will visit your home to establish your specific packing requirements and any unique moving needs. Learn more about moving to Australia from NZ.

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