Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has introduced the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension Legislation Amendment Bill to Parliament.
The bill is an omnibus bill which has the broad policy of modernising and simplifying New Zealand superannuation and the veteran's pension by shifting towards an assessment of entitlement on an individual basis and improving the consistency and clarity of policy and legislation.
The general policy statement says the shift towards assessing entitlement on an individual basis consists of two changes:
- removing the option for a superannuitant (including a person entitled to receive a veteran’s pension) whose spouse or civil union partner or de facto partner is not eligible for New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension to elect to receive a rate that is designed to provide social assistance to the couple as a whole; and
- exempting any standard rate of New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension from being reduced because of a government-administered overseas pension received by the recipient’s spouse or civil union partner or de facto partner (known as spousal deduction).
The bill amends the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001, the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, the Social Security Act 2018, the Income Tax Act 2007, and the Tax Administration Act 1994.