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Income after you turn 65

Most people get NZ Superannuation when they turn 65, but there are other sources of income you might use to support yourself. These can affect the tax you pay or benefits you can apply for.

You can continue to work after you turn 65. With a few exceptions, there is no retirement age in NZ.

Retirement age

Retiring from work

NZ Super is the main source of income for many New Zealanders when they turn 65. There are other sources of income that can:

  • provide a regular income when you retire from work, or
  • pay for one-off costs.

Pensions

As well as NZ Super, you could get income from:

  • an overseas pension — either through an overseas government or from employers you worked for
  • a pension from your employer or a union.

If you’re able to get a pension from another country, it could make a difference to the amount of NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension you get.

NZ Superannuation, Veteran’s Pension and overseas pensions

If you cannot get NZ Superannuation or other benefits

Savings and investments

Income can come from:

  • interest earned on savings such as a term deposit
  • investment returns from shares, bonds, property or managed funds such as KiwiSaver
  • withdrawing money from KiwiSaver or other investments — either in a lump sum or by making regular withdrawals
  • annuities — that is, regular payments from a financial provider based on the savings you invest with them — although not many NZ companies provide these.

Getting my KiwiSaver funds when I retire

Tax on savings and investments

Assets, including your home

Income can come from:

  • selling assets, for example a car, jewellery or art
  • inheriting property or other assets that you can sell
  • rent from a property or another asset you own.

Getting income from your home

You could consider:

  • renting out part of your home or taking in a boarder
  • selling your home and buying a less expensive one
  • subdividing your land and then selling part of it
  • selling all or part of your home to family — making sure that you still have the right to live in it
  • releasing money from the home you live in through a reverse mortgage or home equity loan.

What you need to do when you take in flatmates or boarders

Selling your house

Borrowing against the value of your home

Family

Income can come from:

  • a family trust — either as lump sums or interest earned from investments
  • your partner or other family members
  • inherited money or assets.

Family trusts

Getting help with finances

Managing savings and several sources of income can be difficult — especially when you do not know how long you’re planning for. Many people get professional advice to help with budgeting, investments, insurance and legal matters.

Getting help with your budget

Getting advice

Use the Retirement Planner to work out how to use your money when you retire from work.

Retirement Planner 

Planning for retirement

Government help if you’re on a low income

If you cannot manage on your income, you may be able to get financial help from the government.

Financial help and benefits if you’re over 65

Declaring your income

You need to tell the government about some sources of income:

  • Inland Revenue — when you do your tax return
  • Work and Income — if you apply for or get a benefit from them.

Income you pay tax on

What counts as income for benefits

Lump sum payments from your employer

If your employer gives you a sum of money when you retire from your job, you pay tax on it. The tax rate you pay depends on your total annual income including the retirement lump sum. You do not pay any ACC earner’s levy on the lump sum.

Taxing lump sum payments

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