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If you live alone

You'll get a higher amount of NZ Superannuation or Veteran's Pension if you're single and live by yourself. This takes into account the extra costs of running a household on your own.

NZ Super is paid at different rates depending on your relationship and living situation. If you’re single and living by yourself, you can get the ‘single, living alone’ rate. This pays you more money than the ‘single, sharing accommodation’ or married rates in order to cover the extra costs of running a household by yourself.

NZ Super and Veteran’s Pension payment rates

You can still have visitors to stay for up to 13 weeks while getting the ‘single, living alone’ rate.

If you’re sharing accommodation with others

If you’re single but sharing accommodation with people who are not your partner or a dependent child, you get the ‘single, sharing accommodation’ rate.

Moving or travelling overseas

You cannot keep getting the ‘single, living alone’ rate if you decide to move to another country or travel overseas for more than 26 weeks. Instead you’ll get the ‘single, sharing accommodation rate’, which is slightly less.

Superannuation payment rates 

Getting the single rate if you have a partner

You might also be able to get this rate if you have a spouse or partner who goes into:

  • residential care
  • long-term hospital care
  • prison, or
  • you’re living separately from each other because your marriage or civil union has ended or is ending.

You must tell Work and Income within 14 days if this happens. They’ll adjust your NZ Super payments to either the ‘single, living alone’ or the ‘single, sharing accommodation’ rate, depending on your circumstances.

Freephone: 0800 552 002 (NZ only)

What your partner gets if they’re in care or prison

If they’re in long-term residential or hospital care

Your partner gets their NZ Super at the married, civil union or partner rate. If they’re eligible for the Residential Care Subsidy or a Residential Care Loan, most of their NZ Super goes towards the cost of their care — they’ll get a personal weekly allowance.

Paying for residential care

If they’re in prison

If your partner’s in prison their NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension stops. If they’re released on bail, their NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension can be started again. They need to contact Work and Income to tell them they’ve been released.

Freephone: 0800 552 002 (NZ only)

If your partner is transferred from prison to a psychiatric hospital their NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension can be restarted and is paid at the normal rate for 13 weeks. In most cases their social worker will let Work and Income know. If your partner is in the hospital for longer than 13 weeks, their payment is reduced to the weekly hospital rate.

New Zealand Superannuation — Imprisonment

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