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Spousal Provision to go on 1 July 2020 (date changed to 9 Nov 2020)
As part of the 2019 Budget the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has made contradictory announcements about ending the Spousal Provision from 1 July 2020. However, in a statement to the NZ Herald Minister Carmel Sepuloni confirmed that this part of Section 70 will be discontinued under the condition that the law change passes Parliament. 

The confusion started because only the WINZ website clearly stated that a persons's overseas pension won't affect their partner's NZ Super any longer, suggesting that the Spousal Provision will be discontinued. The statements on the MSD website could be interpreted in the way that the deductions only stops for pensioners whose partner is not qualified for NZ Super in their own right. So far we have not received any explanation for the numbers mentioned on the MSD website.

Another change - which we consider fair - is that non-qualified partners cannot be included in NZ Super payments any longer after 1 July 2020. However, those who are already receiving payments for their non-qualified partner will continue to receive these payments until their circumstances change (e.g. separation and new non-qualified partner).

Detailed information on the WINZ website:
The information on the MSD website: 

NZ First Bill Withdrawn - New Bill Drawn from Ballot
NZ First MP Fletcher Tabuteau has withdrawn his Draft for Consultation on the “New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Fair Residency) Amendment Bill (Member’s Bill)” a month ago. This bill had suggested to abolish Section 70 and raise the residency requirement for NZ Super to 20 years. No explanation as to to why the bill has been withdrawn. 

On 18 October we got the answer when NZ First MP Mark Patterson's Member's Bill was drawn from the ballot. It suggests nothing else but raising the residency requirement from 10 to 20 years. This is an anti-Chinese bill and has nothing to do with fairness towards others. More on NZ First page.

Foreign Teachers Beware!
The New Zealand government is desperately looking for teachers overseas to fill up the vacant posts at schools in the country. Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced a NZ$ 10.5 million funding boost to address a shortfall of 850 teachers next year. Overseas recruitment is necessary as a bandaid solution. We wonder if these teachers are told that they will lose the value of their overseas pensions if they choose to stay in New Zealand until retirement.

On top of that you might want to watch this TV story which was aired on TVNZ's "Sunday" programme. For a start, best you don't apply for a job or accept a job offer in Dannevirke if you are not a New Zealander:

Another link to the same story: 

Petition to STOP the Rort
A pensioner named Graham Astley has started a petition on change.org to stop the pension rort. 

Update 2019: It has been taken off the site by the frustrated petitioner and never reached Parliament. Therefore the link is taken off this page. The title was: 

The problem with the petition was that only insiders could understand that it was about the Direct Deduction Policy and Spousal Provision - in this specific case even spousal deduction with only one partner qualified for NZ Super. It was well-meant but poorly written and explained.

Serious Allegations against the Government
New page: Letter to Carmel Sepuloni, requesting an enquiry into MSD, its CEO and Crown Law.

HRRT Hearing Coming up
A public hearing on Spousal Provision will start on 5 March 2018 in front of the Human Rights Review Tribunal in Wellington. Three affected pensioners are suing the Ministry of Social Development for breach of Human Rights. More here:

"No changes planned"
Finally the new Minister of Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, has answered a few letters from pensioners enquiring about her stance on Section 70.

The stock-phrase reply is as follows: "The issue is complex and I have asked officials from the Ministry of Social Development to look at certain aspects of the direct deduction policy and report back to me later this year. At that stage, I will have a better understanding of the impact any change may have on particular supperannuitant groups. Currently there are no planned changes."

Let us remind her of her time in Opposition and quote her from a letter, sent to a pensioner in December 2016: "In particular the issue of spousal provision is something Labour agrees needs further review and consideration."

28 November 2017
The mystery about Chinese pensions
Chinese pensions are as government-administered as other overseas pensions. Why are they not deducted from NZ Super? Read more on the nature of Chinese pensions here (click link).

03 November 2017
New pages in "The Fight" section of this website
Two new pages have been added to the "The Fight" section on this website:
(The latter is a masterpiece in dissecting Crown Law's dishonest and misleading response to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, after a complaint of a group of pensioners against the discriminatory deduction of  contributory overseas superannuations by the New Zealand government.)

At least there is hope
As Winston Peters has decided to form a coalition with Labour, and the Greens having confirmed a confidence & supply agreement with Labour, we now have a new government under the new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 
While we don't know what their plans are on superannuation, at least there is hope that there will be changes to Section 70 - while under a National-led government there would not have been any hope at all. 
Time to remind NZ First and the Greens of their policies and Jacinda Ardern of her promise to review the unfair treatment of pensioners with employer/employee-funded overseas superannuations.

Boyle "unfit for office"
It is worth mentioning that the fitness for office of MSD CEO Brendan Boyle has been questioned, as he kept on allowing staff using fake names in benefit review committees. The Social Security Appeal Authority ruled that this was unacceptable, and referred the issue to Solicitor-General Una Jagose. Read more on it here and here (click links). In the New Zealand Herald here and here.

Party Policies before 
the General Election
A short write-up before the General Election in New Zealand on 23 September 2017, telling you which stance the major parties have on the Direct Deduction Policy (Section 70). 

National: The current Government has absolutely no interest in making changes and will keep on confiscating your employer/employee-funded overseas pensions, as it is a nice source of income to support New Zealand's superannuation system by ripping off people who have worked overseas and abusing other countries' pension systems.

Labour: Lobbying passionately for the end of the deductions in 2012, the new leader Jacinda Ardern's office has sent us a vague message that a Labour government would "review the legislation around superannuation portability". (Note: this fight is not about portability but about deductions.) And further: "[...] the unique nature of New Zealand Superannuation presents a number of policy and administration issues, including real or perceived inequity in the treatment of overseas pensions." More here: Labour Party

Green Party: Their clearly worded policy is "to end the dollar-for-dollar abatement of non-taxpayer funded overseas pensions". The policy can be found in section 2 of their Income Support Policy (page 3, paragraph l = L). More here: Green Party

NZ First: Their leader Winston Peters promises to end the Direct Deduction Policy if being part of a new Government. However, at the same time he promotes rising the residency requirement for being eligible for NZ Super from 10 to 25 years, obviously without proportional payment for people who have lived in New Zealand for 20 or even 24 years. His main aim is to prevent Chinese pensioners who have come here under the Parent category and have never worked or paid taxes, from receiving NZ Super. We think there must be another way to achieve this goal. More here: New Zealand First

Grey Power finds nothing wrong with Section 70
If you are a member of Grey Power, don't waste your money any longer. 

In an interesting email exchange we and some affected pensioners had with Grey Power, their president Tom O'Connor made it crystal-clear that the organisation doesn't find anything wrong with Section 70, only acknowledging that the Spousal Provision might be a bit unfair. The president wrote: 

"We know there are unfair anomalies in S70 and we know there are a very few people who assume they have a birthright to come to New Zealand and take more from these combined pension schemes from abroad and from New Zealand than they are entitled to. This small minority has made things difficult for the majority of honest people and for my team of negotiators who are making a major effort to solve some very complex issues.” 

The “few people” who take away from “the majority of honest people” (who are New Zealanders, of course) he is talking about is US. The way he says it is polemic, populist and xenophobic. More information on the exchange with Grey Power on this page (click link). 

New Website "Don't Move to New Zealand"
We have linked a new website with NZ Pension Protest. www.dontmovetonewzealand.com (which is forwarded to: Don't move to New Zealand) delivers a summary of the problems around the Direct Deduction Policy and portability, as well as NZ-specific financial pitfalls of relationship property when a relationship goes wrong. 
(If the direct link doesn't work, please click on the second one, this is the forwarded address.)

Unlawful taxation of some overseas pensions
We do not fight Section 70 only but also the unlawful taxation of a few overseas pension by New Zealand's tax authority (IRD). The Double Taxation Agreements with Germany, the USA, France, Finland and the Philippines rule that only the country where the pensions originate can tax them.  More information on our DTA page.

06.06.2016/Update 11.08.2016
The new NZ Seniors Party
To fight the injustice of 
Section 70, a new political party has been formed in June. It is called the New Zealand Seniors Party. The infrastructure has been set up and you can join and become a member of the party. You can download the membership form on the website. 
More information on our website:
New Zealand Seniors Party, and on the party's new website.
Update: The NZ Seniors Party has been closed in late February 2018, the website and email will not work any longer, therefore we have removed the links here.

01.06.2016/Update 13.09.2016
Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill 2016
The Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill 2016 has been prepared by MSD. Submissions could be made until 22 June 2016. We made a submission, demanding that the Government stop deducting overseas pensions from NZ Super. Here is the link to a summary of the paperwork, offering you only the paragraphs dealing with overseas pensions.

New pages have been added about the Spousal Provision and the confiscation of private pensions from Ireland and Singapore.

A new page has been added about the Lucky Chinese who, thanks to the One Child Policy, can bring in two sets of parents and all receive NZ Super on top of their Chinese pensions. How is this possible?

Dramatically rising numbers
When we started our fight against the Direct Deduction Policy in 2010, more than 57,000 pensioners were affected by this pension rip-off. Official statistics from December 2015 (see at the bottom of this page) show that this number has risen to 83,754. This does not include those who do not receive any NZ Super at all. It means the number of affected pensioners is even higher than that. Numbers are rising fast, and it is high time we use these numbers to make more noise and create political pressure, lobbying the party that serves us best. 

Some pensioners are even ready to found their own protest party. Our plans are slightly different at the moment. More on this coming soon. Watch this space!

Pro Rata Entitlement Bill voted down
Yesterday the first reading of the the Pro Rata Entitlement Bill, tabled by NZ First, was voted down in Parliament 61:60, thanks to our "supporter" Peter Dunne. The ruling National Party abused the debate for a hate speech against NZ First instead of seriously discussing the issues, and treated NZ Super as if the Direct Deduction Policy (Section 70) didn't exist. We wrote to National MP David Bennett and (then) Prime Minister John Key what we think about their attitude. Read more here in the "Fight" section.

Bad news from the UN 
Bad news from the United Nations: the Working Group of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has decided "to discontinue the consideration" of our complaint, without giving any explanation for this strange move, as even the teethless New Zealand Human Rights Commission finds that at least Spousal Provision is in breach of Human Rights. 

After receiving a letter from the New Zealand government, the UNHRC just gave in although the Government had, for example, not said a word about Spousal Provision. This attitude of the UN is very disappointing and leads us to believe that this commission at the UN is more about politics than Human Rights.

This setback does not mean that we will not continue to fight the New Zealand government on this issue. On the opposite!

See article by NZ First leader Winston Peters on the travesty that is the Direct Deduction Policy.

New year, old fight...

Send a complaint to the UN
It has been nearly a year that we have contributed to a complaint to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) in Geneva about the New Zealand government's abuse of contributory overseas pensions. Spousal Provision is the most blatant form of discrimination and breach of Human Rights. 

If you want to support the tens of thousands of pensioners in New Zealand who are robbed of their overseas pensions, you can do so by emailing a complaint to the UN. It does not matter if you are a victim of Section 70 of the outdated Social Security Act 1964 or a family member or just an individual who thinks that this legislation is not fair. 

You do not have to go into great detail. Just state your feelings about the Direct Deduction Policy and Spousal Provision. You might also want to ask your friends and family to write to the UN. Keep on writing despite our complaint from 2014 being "discontinued" of consideration. The issue will not go away!

The email address: 

Type in the subject line:
To the United Nations Human Rights Council Secretariat

Write to the EU and to overseas governments
We have also sent petitions to the European Commission and the German government, their Minstry of Social Affairs and the Petitions Committee, demanding they stop negotiations with New Zealand about a free-trade agreement as long as New Zealand confiscates contributory overseas superannuations. 

We are convinced economic pressure is the only way to spin the current New Zealand government into action on this scandalous legislation.

You can also send a complaint to the EU and the government of the country you receive your overseas pension from. 

Update May 2016: The EU Commission let us know that they cannot (read: do not want to) do anything because pension issues are each member country's own business. As you see, ethics and morals don't count in politics, Europe is only Europe as long as... Yes, as long as what?

Contact details:

European Commission: 

German Government: see on page "Besonderheiten für Deutsche"

06 September 2014
No changes during election time
It's election time again - and nothing has changed regarding the policies on the deduction of contributory overseas pensions from NZ Super. The National Party and Prime Minister John Key have maintained their arrogant stance on the issue, claiming it is fair to steal pensioners' personal savings - because they "should not be better off than New Zealanders who have never left the country". 

They do not even acknowledge that New Zealanders who have never left the country may not receive any NZ Super at all if their spouse/partner receives an overseas pension. This is what they call equality, fairness, and NZ Super a universial pension that is not means-tested!

The Labour Party has been busy thinking and working on the policy but we have not heard of any outcome of this difficult thinking process.

We know that the Greens fully support our demands but they have not been very vocal about it, while NZ First has become quite active on the topic. This should make the choice at the General Election on 20 September rather easy. Of course, we do not make any recommendations, as we do not support electioneering...

Read Bob Newcombe's letter to the National Party on the pageLetter to Wellington.

01 March 2014
Together with a group of pensioners we have contributed to a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations in Geneva about the Direct Deduction Policy of the New Zealand Government.

23 July 2012
Finally one New Zealand newspaper has taken a stance and exposed the way the Direct Deduction Policy is applied as grossly unfair to immigrants and returning Kiwis. The Sunday Star Times had big articles on the topic three weeks in a row, starting with Labour MP Jacinda Ardern criticising the rip-off. The following Sunday the deputy CEO of the Ministry of Social Development was given a chance to reply. The twisted and distorted "truths" provoked an avalanche of letters to the editor, and business editor Rob Stock delivered a very realistic opinion piece. Texts and links on our page in "Media Coverage". 

14 March 2012
As the General Election in November 2011 has not brought any changes that would help our cause, please keep on writing to parliamentarians and the new Minister for Senior Citizens, Jo Goodhew. We will surely not give up the fight for justice.
1 October 2011
The new CEO of the Ministry of Social Development, successor of all overseas pensioners' arch-enemy Peter Hughes, is Brendan Boyle. Start addressing your complaints about the Direct Deduction Policy to him - not that he gets the impression we will retire from protesting...
21 June 2011
John Carter has retired from Parliament and as Minister for Senior Citizens. He will become High Commissioner to the Cook Islands. Craig Foss has taken over his ministerial post. Tell Craig Foss what you think of the Direct Deduction Policy.
Do not miss to read or listen to John Carter's revealing valedictory statement in which he tells his colleagues (and us) that it is okay for him to receive a NZ$ 1.5 million GSF pension because HE has contributed to it and not the taxpayer. Obviously there is a big difference if a politician contributes to a (underfunded) fund from HIS money or if immigrants and returning Kiwis pay into funds from THEIR money. Hypocrisy at its best.
Read the speech (paragraph starting with: "While I am on the point...")
1 April 2011
The Irish Ministry of Social and Family Affairs has repeated that it finds New Zealand's Direct Deduction Policy applied on contributory overseas pensions unacceptable and that their contributory pensions are not part of the Social Security Agreement with New Zealand. Read more here.
7 December 2010
The Retirement Commission has recommended to discontinue Spousal Provision. Read more on the Related Topics page"Organisations for Seniors".
We have urged the not very well-informed German Ministry of Work and Social Affairs (BMAS) to contact the New Zealand government and express its disapproval of New Zealand's practice of deducting contributory foreign superannuations from NZ Super. If you receive a German superannuation, write to BMAS. Read more on the German page"Besonderheiten für Deutsche".