Submissions to Superannuation Portability Bill for Cooks, Niue and Tokelau
By Poto Williams
Submissions to the Portability of NZ Super and War pensions to Cook Is, Niue and Tokelau have now closed and groups around the country have met to prepare submissions or support individuals and groups to submit online.
The bill makes some changes to current legislation regarding the eligibility for NZ Super or War Pension for those retiring to the realm islands of the Cooks, Niue and Tokelau. Currently, to be eligible for Super in NZ, you must be over the age of 65, a NZ Resident or Citizen, resident and present in NZ for 10 years from the age of 20 and have spent 5 of those years after the age of 50. The same applies for portability, except you can receive 50% of the Super if you have lived here for 10 years from age 20 and 100% of the Super payment if you have lived here for 20 years or more from age 20. And you must live in NZ when you apply for Super.
This bill will allow you to be a resident in Niue, Cook Is or Tokelau at the time of application and the application will stay live for longer than 20 days to allow for the potential increase in processing time. There is no back dating should you apply after the eligibility date (i.e, your 65th birthday) and you can apply before your eligible date, but payment wont commence until your reach your 65th birthday.
I have questioned why there is a required extra 10 years of residence in NZ to be eligible for the full 100% of Super and being a country of the realm appears to have no special privilege in this instance. Our people have made the ultimate sacrifice for NZ, having sons and daughters give their lives to protect the freedoms of all NZer’s. in this year of commemoration of the 100th year since Gallipoli, we must recognise those men and women of the pacific that fought alongside NZ troops in overseas campaigns, after Sir Maui Pomare asked for the pacific to send their sons to help.
Being able to retire to the Home Islands has positive benefits, by having experienced people and their incomes return home to retire, but also by reducing the costs to NZ health and social services as well. Groups that are submitting to the select committee feel this bill could go much further. They call for NZ to recognise the contribution that Pacific people have made to build this country and its nationhood and ask where is the recognition for our hard work and sacrifice if we are treated like citizens with less rights.
The Social Services Select Committee will hear submissions shortly.