Benefits package in Auckland

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Benefits are normally paid only after a minimum period of residence, usually two years. National superannuation (state pension) usually requires a ten-year residence period. However, New Zealand has reciprocal agreements with certain countries (including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Guernsey, Ireland, Jersey, the Netherlands and the UK), under which those migrating from these countries can apply for New Zealand social security benefits as soon as they arrive to take up permanent residence.

Its important to note that a reciprocal agreement entitles you only to apply for benefits. Whether benefits are paid depends on other criteria. Not all residents are eligible for all benefits.

Benefits are paid at a flat rate, irrespective of your previous income. They are taxable (assuming you earn enough to pay tax) and the Department of Social Welfare deducts the tax due before paying benefits. If you receive a benefit for the first time and aren't registered for tax, you should contact your local Inland Revenue Department, or IRD office.

Update 6/12/2009


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Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

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