29 Nov 2009

Pensioners going overseas can claim full entitlement

10:01 pm on 29 November 2009

Retired New Zealanders who decide to head overseas will soon be able to claim their full superannuation as they leave.

Parliament passed the Social Assistance Amendment Bill this week, which allows superannuitants and veteran pensioners living or travelling overseas to take their full allowance from January 2010.

At present, people living in another country were only able to receive half of their allowances.

They are now able to receive their full entitlement based on how long they lived in New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 65.

Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett says the change gives people a choice about how they spend their retirement.

Ms Bennett says retirees are younger than ever and many want more out of their golden years.

But a lobby group for those aged over 50, says the Government should have acted to help other pensioners who are struggling on low payments by addressing high electricity and food prices and improving public transport services.

Grey Power president Les Howard says the bill suits people who already have money, but not those who are living from day-to-day, with no end to their financial struggles in sight.