Enhanced Residency Requirements for Pensioners

Pension residency changes

Please note

Proposed changes to pension residency requirements are a Budget 2017/18 measure and subject to the relevant legislation being passed by Parliament.

What’s changing?

New Zealand has a Joint Social Security Agreement with Australia. Time spent in New Zealand between age 20 and pension age count towards any qualifying residency period.

From 1 July 2018, if the proposed changes are passed by Parliament, to receive the Age Pension or Disability Support Pension (DSP), a person will need to have:

  • 10 continuous years of Australian residence including at least five years during their Australian working life, or
  • 10 continuous years of Australian residence and proof they have not received activity tested income support for cumulative periods of five years or more, or
  • 15 years of continuous Australian residence.

Residence during a person’s working life is the number of years a person has resided (lived permanently) in Australia between age 16 and age pension age.

Existing exemptions to the residence requirements for Age Pension and DSP will stay the same.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

Anyone who will qualify for the Age Pension or Disability Support Pension from 1 July 2018 will need to meet the changed residence rules.

What date will this measure start and finish?

This measure will start on 1 July 2018 and is ongoing.


Australian Age Pension and NZ Superannuation

New Zealanders claiming Centrelink payments

Social Security Agreement between Australian and New Zealand – FAQs

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