U-turn: MSD reconsiders extending super payments to all pensioners stuck overseas by Covid-19

  • MSD stops paying superannuation funds to pensioners who’ve been abroad for greater than 26 weeks.
  • After 30 weeks abroad, pensioners must repay all the 26 weeks’ value of funds.
  • In October 2021, MSD relaxed this coverage, however just for pensioners ready tp show they have been stranded in Australia by the trans-Tasman bubble closure.
  • This rest has now been prolonged to superannuitants caught in different international locations due to the pandemic.

The Ministry of Social Improvement is to case-by-case rethink suspending superannuation funds for pensioners stranded abroad by border restrictions.

Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson advised MSD in April she had recommendation that an October 2021 variation to its coverage that pensioners should return to New Zealand inside 26 weeks to take care of their tremendous was on suspect authorized floor.

Central to the suspensions was whether or not the shortcoming to return to New Zealand because of border closures and/or MIQ difficulties have been “foreseeable” or “unforeseeable”.

MSD determined on the outset of the pandemic in March 2020 that difficulties related to the pandemic have been foreseeable, however then it altered the coverage in October 2021 just for pensioners stranded in Australia by the trans-Tasman bubble.

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The Ministry of Social Development is reconsidering suspending superannuation payments for pensioners stranded overseas by border restrictions. (File Photo)

Rebekah Parsons-King/RNZ

The Ministry of Social Improvement is reconsidering suspending superannuation funds for pensioners stranded abroad by border restrictions. (File Photograph)

It was this alteration legal professionals criticised as making use of coverage “inconsistently and unequally”, when the legislation requires constant and equal therapy of these affected by it.

Group Normal Supervisor Shopper Service Help for MSD George van Ooyen stated the choice passed off after the evolving international scenario.

“After cautious consideration, and taking into consideration the evolving international circumstances, MSD has determined that the October 2021 coverage must be prolonged to superannuitants who travelled to different international locations through the Australia-New Zealand journey bubble interval.”

MSD has dropped cases against at least four pensioners who took it to the final appeal body, the Social Security Appeal Authority (SSAA).


MSD has dropped circumstances towards a minimum of 4 pensioners who took it to the ultimate enchantment physique, the Social Safety Attraction Authority (SSAA).

The legislation guidelines state pensioners should not allowed to be abroad for greater than 26 weeks, or their pension will likely be reduce off. At 30 weeks, they must pay all the 26 weeks again.

OIA paperwork revealed the stress this coverage imposed on stranded pensioners, with one writing: “I’m so confused I can’t suppose straight. I’ve post-traumatic stress dysfunction and am feeling suicidal.”

Be aware: the unique model of this story has been altered to raised mirror the MSD place,

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