Thursday, October 29, 2015

Portable pensions

The just-released HLFS population estimates show that there are 642,700 people aged 65+. It's an estimate based on the last census, births, deaths etc but it's the best data available. The large majority - but not all - of this group would qualify for super.

Yet at September 2015 there were 693,409 people receiving Super or a veteran's pension.

Is the difference made up by younger partners sharing the Super?

Not according to the table which I requested from MSD earlier this year showing the numbers and ages of non-qualifying spouses receiving Super. (OK the data is 9 months apart but that wouldn't account for the discrepancy).

Does this mean that the HLFS estimate is significantly wrong? No.

The difference must lie in the number of pensions being paid to people who are not currently residing in New Zealand. Officially...

You can reside almost anywhere in the world and still get part or all of your New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension payments. What you’ll get depends on where you go to and how long you’ve resided in New Zealand.

 Potentially there  could be upwards of 40,000 superannuitants living outside of NZ.


Michael Reddell said...


Your point would be further reinforced because some of those living in NZ aged 65+ won't be eligible for NZS (not yet having met the residence requirements).

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Michael, Interrogation of the census database wold show how many. The number must be quite large given relatively high immigration and family repatriation etc.

My estimate of 40,000 and upwards living abroad is very loose.

Anonymous said...

A few scenarios. If you like warmer weather, have kids overseas, may not have a lot of money or little in the way of family ties, it makes perfect sense to decamp to meet your needs. As long as you've met the NZS eligibility guidelines then off they go. I'd have thought 40,000 a very low number.