MSD will cease paying pensions to retirees who’ve been overseas for greater than 26 weeks.
After 30 weeks overseas, pensioners should repay the complete 26 weeks of funds.
In October 2021, MSD relaxed that coverage, however solely to pensioners who can present they had been stranded in Australia by the closure of the trans-Tasman bubble.
This rest has now been prolonged to superannuitants who’re caught in different international locations due to the pandemic.

The Division for Social Growth will think about suspending pension funds for pensioners stranded overseas attributable to border restrictions on a case-by-case foundation.

Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson advised MSD in April she had recommendation {that a} October 2021 coverage change that pensioners should return to New Zealand inside 26 weeks to keep up their superstatus was a suspicious authorized floor.

Central to the suspensions was whether or not the shortcoming to return to New Zealand was “predictable” or “unpredictable” attributable to border closures and/or MIQ difficulties.

MSD determined initially of the pandemic in March 2020 that there have been foreseeable difficulties associated to the pandemic, however then modified the coverage in October 2021 just for pensioners stranded in Australia by the Trans-Tasman bubble.

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Rebekah Parsons-King/RNZ

The Division for Social Growth is once more contemplating suspending pension funds for pensioners stranded overseas attributable to border restrictions. (file picture)

It was this modification that legal professionals criticized for making use of the coverage “inconsistently and unequally” when the regulation requires constant and equal remedy of these affected.

George van Ooyen, group common supervisor consumer service assist for MSD, mentioned the choice was made following the evolving international state of affairs.

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


MSD has dropped instances towards a minimum of 4 pensioners who’ve taken it to the ultimate appeals physique, the Social Safety Enchantment Authority (SSAA).

The regulation stipulates that pensioners might not keep overseas for greater than 26 weeks, in any other case their pension will likely be cancelled. At 30 weeks, you must pay again the whole 26 weeks.

OIA paperwork revealed the stress this coverage positioned on stranded retirees, with one writing: “I am so burdened I can not suppose straight. I’ve post-traumatic stress dysfunction and really feel suicidal.”

Notice: The unique model of this story has been altered to higher mirror the MSD place.

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