Portability Provisions for Recipients Paid Under the 1995 Agreement with New Zealand Going to New Zealand or to Another Country


The previous agreement (1.1.A.120) with New Zealand came into operation on 1 January 1995 (hence 1995 Agreement). It ceased on 30 June 2002 when the new agreement (the 2002 Agreement) came into force.

The restrictions the 1995 Agreement imposed on the portability of Australian Age, DSP, WP, WidB, PP and some PA paid to people who go to New Zealand are now lifted, EXCEPT FOR PAYMENTS GRANTED UNDER THAT AGREEMENT.

Full details of the portability of social security payments into New Zealand can be found:

  • in FOR PAYMENTS MADE UNDER THE 1995 AGREEMENT. The effects of the agreement are summarised in this topic, and
  • in 10.2 for all other payments including autonomous payments and payments made under the 2002 Agreement.

Note: For payments not made under the 1995 Agreement AND not covered under the 2002 Agreement (i.e. payments OTHER THAN Age, DSP and CP (where paid to the partner of the disability support pensioner)) the portability provisions of the SSAct will apply.

Example: An autonomous WidB, who moves to New Zealand will have any entitlement she may have assessed under the portability provisions of the Social Security Act 1991.

Payments made under the 1995 Agreement

For payments made under the 1995 Agreement the following is a general guide. It is recommended that CIS be contacted for specific advice on individual cases.

Permanent departure

With 2 exceptions, 1995 Agreement recipients who depart PERMANENTLY for New Zealand (or for another country, if paid under the Agreement with New Zealand) have their Australian payment cancelled. It is expected that recipients going to New Zealand will claim and receive a payment there, either by using the 2002 Agreement to qualify, or by having past residence in New Zealand that allows them to qualify without the agreement.

Note: For those departing permanently for New Zealand they should be checked for any entitlement under the 2002 Agreement or it should be suggested that they should confirm with New Zealand authorities for entitlement to New Zealand payments under New Zealand domestic law. Once payment under the 1995 Agreement is cancelled it cannot be reclaimed either in New Zealand or Australia under the provisions of the 1995 Agreement.

Temporary departure

If a recipient is TEMPORARILY going to New Zealand (or to another country, if paid under the 1995 Agreement with New Zealand), their payment can be paid for the following periods:

Payment Type Period of payment
  • Age pension
26 weeks
  • Disability support pension
  • PP for a person who is not a member of a couple, or benefit PPP for the FEMALE PARTNER of a DSP recipient
  • PA for the FEMALE PARTNER of a DSP recipient
  • Wife pension
  • Widow B pension
4 weeks

Note: CP paid to a person who is the partner (1.1.P.85) and carer (1.1.C.40) of an Age or DSP recipient, paid under the 1995 New Zealand Agreement, is portable under the portability provisions of the SSAct.

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

Policy reference: SS Guide 10.2 Agreement with New Zealand

Last reviewed: 1 July 2016