Can I Claim Super and Still Work?

It’s no secret that most New Zealanders aspire to a better standard of living in retirement than can be supported by superannuation alone. So can you get that dream retirement by working and still claiming super? Canstar explains.

What is NZ Super?

Superannuation (or NZ Super) is a fortnightly payment for Kiwis who are over 65 and meet the following criteria:

  • NZ citizen / permanent resident / or hold a residence class visa
  • Are ordinarily a resident in NZ, the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau
  • Have lived in NZ for at least ten years since turning 20. (Must include five years since turning 50)

How much in NZ Super?

The current superannuation rates (after tax) are:

  • Individual: $496.37 per week or $25,811.24 per annum
  • Couple (assuming both qualify): $763.64 per week or $39,709.28 per annum

NZ super is paid fortnightly on a Tuesday.

Your superannuation alone likely won’t be enough to cover your retirement costs, no matter how frugal you are. As a result, many Kiwis work well into their golden years to cover extra expenses.

Can I claim NZ Super and still work?

You can apply for NZ Super even if you are still working, and your eligibility is not determined by your income or assets. However, any income you earn may impact other payments you receive from Work and Income.

Receiving additional income may also result in a change to your tax code. And as NZ Super is a taxable payment, this could, potentially, mean you pay more tax on your NZ Super payments.

If you receive an overseas pension, you can still receive NZ Super, but this may influence the amount you get for your NZ Super payment.

Can I claim KiwiSaver while working?

KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based retirement savings scheme. You’re eligible to withdraw all your KiwiSaver savings when you reach the age of eligibility (currently 65).

To clarify, you don’t have to actually be retired to be eligible to withdraw your KiwiSaver, so you can keep on working well into your golden years and still have access to your KiwiSaver fund.

How much KiwiSaver you withdraw is also up to you. And all withdrawals are tax-free. This is because any returns your KiwiSaver fund has made will have already been taxed at your prescribed investor rate (PIR). Thankfully, across the board, PIRs are a lot lower than income tax rates.

→Related article: How Much KiwiSaver Do You Need for Retirement?

Will my employer still contribute to my KiwiSaver?

Your employer is not legally obligated to keep making employer contributions once you turn 65.

However, some employers do continue to pay their 3% contribution. If that’s the case for your employer, you should think hard before you stop contributing or opt out of KiwiSaver, as continued investments will help grow your nest egg.

→Related article: Keeping Track of Your KiwiSaver Balance & Contributions

If you’re concerned about having enough money for your retirement, you should start doing something about it now. And one of the easiest and quickest things you can do is to compare your current KiwiSaver provider against others in the market.

Do you know what returns you’ve earned over the past year, and the fees you’ve paid? If you are in the wrong fund, you could be missing out on better returns on your investments.

Here at Canstar, we can help you find the right KiwiSaver fund for your needs. While it can be hard to predict the future, looking to the past can help you make informed choices. With our helpful comparison tool, you can see the past one-year, three-year, five-year, and even seven-year returns of all the available funds, alongside other information such as annual fees, termination fees, added features, and the Canstar star rating. To learn more or to start comparing click the button below:

Compare KiwiSaver funds

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.

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