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NZ pension rule change for Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau

06:23 Sat, 10 Aug 2013
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The Government is making changes to legislation that will allow people wanting to retire to the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau to get their New Zealand pension.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully yesterday joined Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna in Rarotonga to announce improved pension portability.

Under the current rules, people wishing to retire to the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau have to be a "resident and present" in New Zealand at age 65.

Mr McCully says retirees will still need to qualify for New Zealand Superannuation and must have been a "resident and present" in New Zealand for more than 10 years since the age of 20 - including five years since the age of 50.

He says the changes to the Special Portability Arrangement will allow eligible residents to apply for their pension or veteran's pension from the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau.

"The practical effect of the change is that people who are entitled to New Zealand Superannuation, regardless of whether they are of Cook Island, Niuean or Tokelauan ethnicity, will be able to depart New Zealand to live in one of these three countries after the age of 55 and apply, without returning to New Zealand, for their super once they turn 65," Mr McCully said.

Currently they would have to stay in New Zealand until turning 65 in order to qualify.

The new policy will require legislation to be passed in the New Zealand Parliament and is expected to apply from July 2015.

Source ONE News

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