Social security is largely non-contributory in New Zealand, and officially neither employees or employers make contributions.
However, employees and the self-employed must contribute to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) scheme. This provides compensation in the event of an accident, either at work or elsewhere. ACC contributions are deducted from salaries usually via the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) system at the rate of $1.20 per $100 of liable earnings up to an earnings limit of $85,795. These rates are reviewed annually.
Receiving any sort of government benefits, which are collectively known as "government transfers", isn't conditional upon having contributed to the scheme. Unemployment and sickness benefits, for example, are available to all New Zealanders and permanent residents irrespective of their employment history, although there may be other eligibility criteria and means testing.
For further information, contact:
Work and Income National Office
Level 8, Bowen State Building, Bowen Street, PO Box 12-136, Wellington
freephone 0800-559 009 or 09-916 0300.
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