SUPERANNUATION: Kiwis in the Pacific missing out as 10-year old immigrants get full entitlement
Some Pacific New Zealanders are missing out on NZ Super while over 70,000 immigrants receive NZ Super after only 10 years, says New Zealand First.
“It’s unfair that there is a group of New Zealanders who have worked and paid taxes for decades but are denied NZ Super at the age of 65,” says Party leader Vaovasamanaia Winston Peters.
“Compare this to about 5,000 older immigrants who enter each year under the parent reunion category — they are not even required to work and pay taxes but get full NZ Super at 65.
“New Zealand First is calling for changes so residents of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau get a fairer deal. While they are born with New Zealand citizenship, they are disadvantaged by the law governing their access to NZ Super. We want it changed. We want a capital S back in our Special relationship.
“Presently they must have lived at least five years in New Zealand after the age of 50 to be eligible.
“Many have already gone back to their island countries, or Kiwis have retired there, but they are forced to return to New Zealand to regain eligibility. This is disruptive to families and emotionally draining.
“The irony is that we should be encouraging senior New Zealanders and islanders to retire in the islands to keep the economies going, and thus lessen the reliance on New Zealand aid funding. The benefits of a warmer climate would also be a bonus to our health system.”
Mr Peters put New Zealand First’s case for an exemption from section 8(c) in the Social Assistance (Portability to Cook Island, Niue and Tokelau) Bill 2014, in the name of fairness and equity, to Parliament’s Social Services Select Committee today.