British Expats in New Zealand challenge State Pension Rules

Feb

14

British Expats in New Zealand

British Expats in New Zealand are among thousands of retirement savers in the country preparing to sue the government for docking millions of dollars from their state pensions.

The New Zealand Seniors Party claims that some 85,000 pensions have lost 350 million NZD as the government reduced their pensions if they received money from an overseas pension.

Since 2007, when the rules started, the government has received an estimated 2.5 billion NZD taken from pensions.

The party has revealed lawyers are preparing a legal challenge against the rules to reclaim the cash.

Another case disputing the rule (Section 70 of the Social Security Act in New Zealand) is in the process of going before a human rights tribunal.

The rule allows the government to reduce the New Zealand state pension if the expat or their spouse also receives a state pension from overseas.

The party claims this is unfair as the expat is entitled to both pensions because they have contributed or qualified for the money during their working lives.

The government argues that the policy is designed to make sure that New Zealanders who do not work overseas are not financially disadvantaged when they retire.

British Expats in New Zealand can qualify for a state pension after living in the country for 10 years but a recent private member bill before the New Zealand parliament proposes raising the qualification period to 25 years, which would mean that fewer expats would benefit from a state pension.

Alan Turner

The Author

Alan Turner

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