NZ Super and Planning for Retirement

What is the New Zealand Superannuation Fund?
This is a pension that is paid by the government to most New Zealand residents as soon as they reach the age of 65, continuing until they die.

Who Qualifies?
To be eligible for the NZ Superannuation you have to be 65 years or over and you have to be a legal resident of New Zealand. You need to have been living in New Zealand for at least 10 years since the age of 20. Five of those years have to be since you turned the age of 50.

How Much Do I Receive?
The current after tax rates of NZ Superannuation are:

  • Single (Living Alone) $245.00 per week or $12,755 per year.
  • Single (Sharing) $226.43 per week or $11,774 per year.
  • Couple (Both Qualify) $377.38 per week or $19,623 per year.
  • Couple (Only one partner qualifies) $359.81 per week or $18,710 per year.
  • Married Persons $188.69 per week each or $9,811 per year.
    (Choosing not to include a spouse who doesn’t qualify)

These figures come from the Ministry of Social Development and are a guide only. If you are close to retirement and you want to know the exact amounts then it is best to contact Work and Income New Zealand at or 0800 552 002. If your retirement is a long way off then you should take these figures into your financial calculations to make sure you have enough for your future lifestyle.

What to Do
If you are doing your financial planning now these are the steps to follow:

  1. Find out about the pension that you will receive from the government under the NZ Super.
  2. Work out what savings you are going to need to supplement the NZ Super.
  3. Think about your home as part of your retirement plan as well as savings and other investments.

Does the NZ Super Amount Change?
The answer is yes. The payment is reviewed every year and adjusted to take into account increases in the cost of living and wages – which is inflation. If wages increase then NZ Super is adjusted up so that it stays between 65 – 72.5% of the average, ordinary time earnings after tax. This basically means that if you are a couple over 65 then your NZ Super after tax will not fall below 65% of the average wage.