10.2.1.20 General Principles of the Agreement with New Zealand

General principles

The Agreement with New Zealand is a shared responsibility agreement that helps people to qualify for benefits they might not otherwise be able to get and conforms to the principles of shared responsibility agreements by:

  • allowing people to lodge claims for benefits in Australia or New Zealand,
  • allowing people to totalise to meet minimum qualification,
  • allowing Agreement benefits to be paid in either country, and temporarily in third countries,
  • arranging for proportional benefits to be paid, and
  • arranging administrative cooperation between Australia and New Zealand.

Although this Agreement is similar to Australia's other bilateral social security agreements, there are a number of key differences. These differences arise from Australia and New Zealand sharing similar social security systems and the unrestricted movement between the 2 countries. A significant variation is that people paid under this Agreement cannot be generally better off by drawing a benefit from both countries. Under this Agreement the amount of combined benefit can only be as high as the maximum benefit a person can receive in the country they are currently residing in. Another variation is that working age residence applies instead of WLR.

Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Schedule 3 New Zealand

Last reviewed: 3 July 2017