Member’s Bill proposes radical change to NZ Super entitlement

Mark Patterson, List MP based in Clutha-Southland

A New Zealand First Member’s Bill drawn from the ballot today makes a radical change to NZ Superannuation entitlement by raising the minimum residency from 10 to 20 years after age 20.

Currently, a migrant of 10 years’ residency in New Zealand is entitled to full NZS without any requirement to contribute to the economy.

While other parties have advocated raising the age and means testing for NZ Super, only NZ First has addressed the residency issue, says the Bill’s sponsor Mark Patterson.

Raising residency to “20 after 20” ensures a person has lived and worked in New Zealand for a substantial part of their adult lives, consecutively or cumulatively.

By global standards, the current 10 years is a short timeframe for full entitlement to a universal, non-means tested, non-contributory pension at age 65.

In 2016, the Retirement Commissioner recommended increasing the residency threshold to 25 years.

Given a payout of 20 years, $480,000 is a generous gift for people who may have only been resident for 10 years. BERL has estimated that changing the residency requirement to 20 years would generate savings over 10 years of $4.4 billion.

This proposal contributes to the sustainability of NZ Super and gives a fair go to hard-working Kiwis, says Mr Patterson. 

NZ Superannuation and Retirement Income (Fair Residency) Amendment Bill

  • Raises minimum NZ residency for NZ Super from 10 to 20 years
  • Retains NZ Super age at 65, a universal entitlement with no means testing

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