After the launch of the NZ Pension Protest website on 31 July 2010 we sent out a media release to various media outlets (and will keep on doing so, now going international) and got immediate coverage.
New Website Pushes Pensioners’ Issue
Christchurch, 31 July 2010. A new website, www.nzpensionprotest.com, has been launched to lobby against Section 70 of the Social Security Act. Its founders, two women with a mission, want it to be a one-stop information resource for those researching the implications of this piece of legislation that short-changes some 52,000 superannuitants. It is also meant to be a platform for pensioners already affected but lacking a means to get their stories out to the public. Its primary aim, however, is to put the issue back on the political agenda.
The so-called Direct Deduction Policy and the Spousal Provision practice have caused distress not only for many New Zealand immigrants. Born and bred Kiwis returning from working overseas and New Zealanders married to an immigrant with an overseas pension entitlement are equally penalised. Many have paid taxes for years and feel cheated out of their NZ Super.
Superannuitants who receive an overseas pension, mostly from individual contributions to a compulsory pension scheme, get their overseas pension deducted from their NZ Super entitlement. It is even abated against their spouse’s or partner’s rate of NZ super.
“This practice is far from fair”, says Sissi Stein-Abel, Christchurch based freelance journalist and one of the website’s founders. “It’s like confiscating personal savings.” She and her project partner, a public relations professional, have researched and authored most of the website’s content. They have decided to give the issue fresh impetus by using the internet as an effective way of getting their message out. “Web-based marketing tools work. We market a cause and want to spread our message in a viral way. It is the first step to effecting change”, explains Sissi Stein-Abel. The duo’s ultimate goal it is to see Section 70 discontinued. “Politicians don’t want to touch this issue and have been turning a deaf ear for years But the problem won’t just go away because they ignore it. It is a glaring injustice that needs to be addressed urgently.”
While there is compelling, independent policy analysis and recommendations for pension reforms from the Retirement Policy and Research Centre of the University of Auckland’s Business School, the wider public may not be aware of it. “We hope to also reach those people who may feel intimidated by academic papers by presenting relevant content in an easy to read format and a journalistic style”, says Stein-Abel. “The website also wants to clear up some of the myths about NZ Super. One is that it’s a universal pension, another one that it’s not means-tested. It will be a real eye-opener for many.”
Links to the article(s):
The New Zealand Pension Rip-Off
Sunday, 8 August 2010, on www.emigratetonewzealand.com
Another site has launched recently that may be considered to be essential reading for anyone intending to retire in New Zealand, whether they be a migrant or a returning New Zealander.
It’s at NZ Pension Protest.com – and is called “The New Zealand Pension Rip-Off – How the government confiscates overseas pensions“
The author said:
“People entitled to a New Zealand pension, New Zealand Superannuation, who also receive an overseas pension, are likely to be in for an unpleasant surprise: their overseas pension will be deducted from their New Zealand Super.
This is called Direct Deduction. If this person’s overseas pension exceeds the NZ Super rate for one individual, the “excess” amount is carried over to their partner’s entitlement and deducted from his or her NZ Super. This is called Spousal Provision. The practice is governed by Section 70 of the Social Security Act.
In a worst-case scenario, one partner’s high overseas pension can cancel out a couple’s combined New Zealand pension entitlement. The New Zealand government uses other states’ contributory pension provisions for the payment of the NZ Super benefit…”
New Zealand Pension Rip-Off
Saturday, 7 August 2010, on www.expatexposed.com
"I found this website which digs into the problems of immigrants who have gained pension benefits before coming to NZ... It explains these rather complicated matters in a very comprehensive way...."
"What an interesting article! ... Just another nail in the coffin on NZ's world reputation. The next 10-20 years for NZ will be interesting as the word spreads about NZ image portrayal and what its really like. It won't even be a place to retire too!!"
Emigrate to New Zealand
(links at the bottom of the articles)