News archive

Still good to know


20-year residency requirement is set to become law

The Third Reading of and Royal Assent for changing the residency requirement for NZ Super from 10 to 20 years is only a formality. Read the report on the Second Reading of the so-called New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Fair Residency) Amendment Bill here (click link).


Select Committee report on Fair Residency Bill

The Select Committee for Finance and Expenditure has delivered its final report on the

New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Fair Residency) Amendment Bill to Parliament early this month. The suggestion is to raise the residency requirement for NZ Super from 10 to 20 years and phase it in over a period of ten years. However, it would have immediate effect on those who are 62 and 63 years old by 30 June this year. Despite lots of submitters requesting to abolish the Direct Deduction Policy under the new regime, the Select Committee didn't mention the issue at all. The rip-off will continue indefinitely.

Deductible and non-deductible pensions

MSD has released the lists of deductible and non-deductible overseas pensions under the Official Information Act. They read like a hap-hazard compilation with more typos than anything.

Link to the deductible pensions:

You find the list of non-deductible pensions on our website.


Outlandish decision by the HRRT on Spousal Provision

More than two and half years after the hearing, the Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT) has published its unbelievable decision on the Spousal Provision. They think nothing is wrong with punishing a pensioner financially if he is in a relationship with a person who receives an overseas pension, while the rest of New Zealand is assessed as individuals regarding NZ Super.

Lucky everyone that it has taken the HRRT so long to step back into the Middle Ages, as the law has been changed in the meantime and will come into force on 9 November 2020.

More info here: click link.


What New Zealand's parties promise before the General Election

With the General Election just a month away, you might want to know which party would fight on your behalf against the Direct Deduction Policy. The answer: probably none of those currently in government, and National either. Winston Peters has made new promises; we don't even mention them because they are only there to be broken again, as usual. Read all about the merits and hypocrisy of our parties and politicians on the subpages of this site: The Actors in Wellington


Law change postponed to 9 November 2020:

Spousal Provision ends

In a scandalous move Carmel Sepuloni, the Minister for Social Development, has brought in a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) in which all the changes to the NZ Superannuation and Veteran's Pension Legislation Amendment Bill that should come into force on 1 July 2020 but was then postponed to 9 November 2020. The explanation was MSD's huge workload due to the Covid-19 crisis.

While the Government has pushed through laws under urgency without following the proper process, this bill had passed all stages correctly but only got its third reading in Parliament on 21 July 2020. The bill passed into law by receiving the Royal Assent on 24 July 2020.

The changes to the legislation which includes the end of the Spousal Provision had been published on the MSD and WINZ websites since June 2019. The amendment bill doesn't include any suggestion to backdate the payments to 1 July. This just shows that the Government and its Minister didn't really care about ending this injustice and breach of Human Rights.


Born-and-bred Kiwi has enough of New Zealand

One of the pensioners who challenged the Ministry of Social Development at the Spousal Provision hearing in front of the Human Rights Review Tribunal in 2018 had become so depressed about being punished for being married to a woman with an overseas pension, that he left his home country at the age of 83. The news so far in the Newsletter section, his personal story here in the Victims section of this website.


Debbie Power new CEO

Debbie Power is the new Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). She took up her role as the successor of Brendan Boyle in February 2019. Previously she was the Statutory Deputy State Services Commissioner, State Services Commission, from August 2015. More about Debbie Power on the MSD website. Click here.


New Social Security Act in Effect

The new Social Security Act 2018 has come into effect on 26 November 2018. It does not change the facts around the Direct Deduction Policy; in most places the Act has just been reworded and "translated" into plain English, as the authors claim. Section 70 has been split up into a raft of new numbers (see second paragraph, in green) in the main article on this page. Your overseas pensions are still stolen off you.


Winter Energy Payment

You find a comprehensive new page on the Winter Energy Payment on this website. The policy punishes pensioners who don't receive NZ Super due to the deduction of their overseas pensions. Pensioners who are not receiving NZ Super do not receive the Winter Energy Payment, adding insult to injury. The heating supplement is paid to millionaires and people who don't need it. This is a scandal of epic proportions.

06.03.2018 - 14.03.2018

Discrimination Hearing at Human Rights Tribunal

A hearing on Spousal Provision/Deduction has taken place at the Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT) in Wellington from 5 to 14 March 2018. It can take two or three years until the Tribunal makes a decision.

Three plaintiffs were legally represented by the Office of Human Rights Proceedings (OHRP) in the case against the Ministry of Social Development/Attorney General, claiming the spousal deductions are discrimination on grounds of family and marital status.

Our report about the hearing is available in the "The Fight" section on this website, and directly via this link: Welcome to the World of Millionaire Beneficiaries.

Impact statement of the three plaintiffs here:

The Joys of Marriage

A much-diminished Man

Lost Independence

It was telling that only the New Zealand Herald attended two days of the hearing, the rest of the New Zealand media ignored it completely.

Link to the NZ Herald story on the first day of the hearing:

NZ Herald - Article 1

Story day four of the hearing:

NZ Herald - Article 2

Young Children Paid for their Stepfather's Pension

How was this possible? Read here

26 January 2018

Time for Reminders

To prevent complete memory loss, a widespread phenomenon among politicians, we would like to remind Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of her commitment to stop the unfair overseas pension deductions in 2012 and 2015.

In 2012 She drafted terms of reference for a Social Security Select Committee inquiry into the issue, as she was convinced an injustice was being perpetrated upon people who had worked in New Zealand for years, only to find their NZ Super payments dramatically reduced because of having earned KiwiSaver-like pensions overseas.

Among other things she said in the Sunday Star Times on 08 July 2012:

“There is a question of fairness.”

“I have seen some terrible cases.”

“I receive many letters on this issue and I am sure most electorate MPs do too.”

Full article in the Media section.

In 2015 Jacinda Ardern held an impressive speech in Parliament in which she labelled aspects of the Direct Deduction Policy "totally unfair" and in "violoation of Human Rights".

And look here what the Labour Party had to say while in Opposition.

As recently as before the General Election last September Jacinda Ardern told us her government would look into the issue if elected, and promised the same to several pensioners. However, we heard from NZ First that demands to changes to Section 70 (since Nov. 2018 Sections 187-191) "died during the coalition negotiations".

Letters to the PM are forwarded to Carmel Sepuloni, the new Minister of Social Development, and from there barely anyone who wrote to her has received a reply. We wonder if it is due to incompetence, ignorance or contempt.


December 2017

The Swiss take on the fight - the EU awakens

It is high time to update you on a few issues surrounding the fight against the confiscation of employer/employee-funded overseas superannuations in New Zealand.

As we have a new government under the new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand, there is a shimmer of hope that there will be changes to Section 70.

Time to remind Jacinda Ardern of her promises of 2012 and 2015 to review the unfair treatment of pensioners with employer/employee-funded overseas superannuations, and NZ First and the Greens of their policies which clearly state that the deduction of contributory overseas pensions should stop.

  • The EU talks about New Zealand

We are delighted to report that at the International Forum in Brussels on 05 October 2017 the German representative of the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs (Ministerium für Arbeit und Soziales) told the EU member states that it would be a good opportunity to revisit the issue of Section 70 with New Zealand and demand change.

  • The Swiss give a shining example

We have been in touch with the Swiss Embassy in Wellington and have been assured that they are working hard on the issue and don't tire to discuss it at the highest political level.

Due to deduction of contributory Swiss superannuations from NZ Super, the first chamber of the Swiss Parliament (Nationalrat) rejected an agreement about the automatic information exchange about bank accounts (AIA) with New Zealand last year (2017). During the debate in September New Zealand's attitude of funding NZ Super by abusing Swiss pensions was discussed prominently. Bravo Switzerland!

But, unfortunately, the last obstacle was not taken in December when the second chamber (Ständerat) voted on the exchange of information. Had they rejected it, too, the Bundesrat would have been forced to start negotiations with New Zealand on a Social Security Agreement. A missed chance. An article about the decision (in German):

This will, however, not change the attitude of the Swiss ambassador and embassy in Wellington.

We should encourage more foreign embassies, high commissions and consulates in New Zealand to follow suit and take Switzerland as a shining example.

  • Update January 2018 and June 2019: More countries are becoming active

In the meantime (January 2018) we have been contacting a lot of foreign embassies, high commissions and consulates in New Zealand, and we can report that now more countries are working on the pension issue.

The problem with foreign representation in New Zealand is that ambassadors and important staff change every few years and they don't know what's really going on in New Zealand. What we can do is tell them the truth about pensions and demonstrate to the New Zealand government that it is not an internal affair if they abuse foreign retirement schemes, migrants and returning Kiwis to fund NZ Super.

In early 2019, we met with the ambassador and one of the consuls of another European country who has taken up the fight against Section 70.

  • Deceiving the UN

On a separate page you'll find the dissection of Crown Law's response to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN), which followed a complaint of a group of pensioners to the UN about the discriminatory deduction of contributory overseas superannuations by the New Zealand government.

The UN had rejected the complaint, lodged in 2014, after receiving this document full of misrepresentations and omissions without going into any detail. We wonder if they have even had a close look at the content of the complaints.

The New Zealand government's response, written by Crown Law, had been signed by then Social Development Minister Anne Tolley who probably didn't know or suspect that the document was such a compilation of dishonesty.

One of our community of anti-Section-70 fighters took on the huge task of dissecting Crown Law's response, and sent an appeal to the UN - which never even acknowledged that it had received the couriered letter. We wonder if this is the way the UN works in other fields, too.

Find the documentation here (click link).

  • Fight against Spousal Provision at the Human Rights Review Tribunal

There is an ongoing fight against the policy of Spousal Provision. New Zealand's Human Rights Commission has accepted the complaints of a group of pensioners who have sued the Ministry of Social Development - which used their usual delaying tactics to hold up the process. But the Human Rights Review Tribunal rejected further delays.

After endless exchanges of documents the case went to court (Human Rights Review Tribunal) in early March 2018. Now we need to wait a few months for a verdict - or up to two years...

The hearing started on Monday, 5 March, in Wellington and went until Wednesday, 14 March. The three plaintiffs and another affected pensioner gave evidence at the Tribunal at 86 Customhouse Quay (Level 1), Wellington. The Crown had two MSD officials giving evidence.

Report on our Fight page: Welcome to the World of Millionaire Beneficiaries

Find the three plaintiffs' statements in the Victims section of this website:

Jan McKeogh: The Joys of Marriage

Malcolm Larsen: A much-diminished Man

Donna LaFauci: Lost Independence

  • Revelation about Chinese pensions

One pensioner has made the effort to read up the history of Chinese pensions which are not deducted from NZ Super. He has found out that, despite being called enterprise pensions, the Chinese pensions are - despite MSD's claims of the contrary - social security pensions and administered by or behalf of the government. In economically poor rural areas the Chinese government even tops up these enterprise pensions. More details about this topic soon.

Anyway, this pensioner now has an even better case in claiming that he is discriminated, as he is not treated the same as Chinese pensioners, and even more so as no Social Security Agreement between New Zealand and China exists which would exclude the Chinese pensions from the application of Section 70. Good luck!

Read more about the nature and history of Chinese pensions on this page:

Lucky Chinese