What is “Spousal Deduction”?
Spousal Deduction comes under Sec 70 of the Social Security Act 2018. This law, described in Parliament in 2015 by Jacinda Adern as “unjust, unfair and a violation of Human Rights”, affects those in a permanent relationship or married to someone from a non-reciprocal country, ie: Norway, Germany and the USA to name a few. To receive a pension in these countries a person contributes throughout their working life for their pension. This is unlike New Zealand, where the only criteria for superannuation is the required length of residency.
When a person from overseas enters in to a permanent relationship or marries a New Zealander they bring their pension with them but the New Zealand Government does not treat the couple as individuals. They are treated as an ‘economic unit’ and the New Zealander then finds they lose much, if not all, of their superannuation. The person who has brought his/her pension with them does not receive any superannuation from New Zealand.
This is so unjust to the New Zealander, and the loss is not just monetary. There is a loss of independence; both emotional and physical health is affected and it puts a strain on marriages/relationships.
This law is not just unfair, it is also illogical. If the New Zealander went to live in his/her partner’s country they would receive their full New Zealand superannuation with no deductions.
A true life example: American Jack Smith* meets Sally Brown* a New Zealander. Jack is at retirement age so comes to New Zealand and sets up home with Sally, bringing his pension with him. Sally, who has lived and worked all her life in New Zealand, applies for her New Zealand superannuation. The shock comes when, after applying for her superannuation, she is told about Spousal Deduction and it is “unjust, unfair and a violation of Human rights”! *Not real names.
That the House of Representatives repeal the provisions in the Social Security Act 2018 that relate to Spousal Deduction.
We believe this law adversely affects those in a permanent relationship with a person who has an overseas pension; that a couple is not treated as individuals but as an ‘economic unit’, with the New Zealander then finding they lose most, if not all, of their superannuation which is an ‘individual entitlement’. This form of means testing can cause not just a monetary loss but a loss of independence. This puts a strain on relationships and affects people’s emotional and physical health.
Direct link to the petition. (Click the heading, or the address below)
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