Retirement in New Zealand

Make the most of retirement here

New Zealand does not have an official retirement age. However, most people retire at 65. It is the age when most superannuation plans begin to pay out your life savings.

NZ Super is the government-funded superannuation plan and pays out fortnightly people aged 65 and over. However, to qualify you must have:

  • live in NZ for at least 10 years since you turned 20; AND
  • spent 5 years in New Zealand after you turned 50

There are some exceptions if you lived in certain other countries.

Check NZ retirement visa options!

How does retirement work in New Zealand?

Our government-funded superannuation scheme will provide just enough for basic needs. Many New Zealanders also save on the side with a dedicated scheme. New Zealand workers choose to opt in a scheme called Kiwisaver. It is a voluntary contribution whereby you allocate at least 3% of your gross wage to your retirement savings. If you choose to do so, your employer must contribute 3% minimum too. The scheme is only for New Zealand citizens or residents. There are many different providers, including most banks. It is invested by the providers and you get returns on these investments.

Though most people would access their money when they turn 65, it is also possible to obtain it if you are buying your first home or leaving New Zealand permanently. See more on the "Sorted" dedicated government website.

Can I bring my overseas pension over?

If you meet the conditions above, but have worked overseas prior, you may be able to transfer your pension over to New Zealand. Note that it will be considered income and it may affect how much NZ Super you can receive. Talk to Work and Income for more details.

Note that you may also have to pay tax in New Zealand on your overseas pension. More information on this on the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) website: Overseas pensions and annuity scheme.

I am not a resident in NZ, what visas can I get?

To have a look at the different visa options to retire in New Zealand, see our "Retire in NZ" page!