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New Zealand Superannuation (NZS)

New Zealand Superannuation (also known as the pension, National Super or Super) is a benefit paid by the Government to New Zealanders once they reach the qualifying age (currently 64 or 65).

The Government pre-funds a portion of its future New Zealand Superannuation expenses by making contributions to an investment fund - the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZS Fund). The NZS Fund and the Crown entity that manages it (the Guardians of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund) were established by the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001.

For information about the management, operations, investment strategy and performance of the NZS Fund visit its web site: New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

The Treasury's Role

The Treasury's role in relation to New Zealand Superannuation has these main aspects:

  • Preparing the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand where:
    • the Government's contribution to the NZS Fund is reported as an expense;
    • the value of the NZS Fund's assets are also reported.
  • calculating the amount the Government will contribute to the NZS Fund using the Treasury's NZS Fund Contribution Rate Model;
  • monitoring the Guardians of the New Zealand Superannuation;
  • administering various provisions of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001.

Related Information on the Treasury Web Site

  • New Zealand Superannuation (NZS) Fund Contribution Rate Model - Includes information on the impact of the eleven-year contribution holiday on the capital contributions and the size of the New Zealand Superannuation (NZS) Fund.
  • Treasury Paper: The Market Equity Risk Premium (May 2005) by Brian McCulloch & Dasha Leonova - The New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 requires the Treasury to state each year the required capital contribution of the New Zealand Government to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. This paper examines a key assumption made in that calculation – the level of expected long-term premium of return on equity market investments over return on long-term government bonds.
  • Review of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation - The first review was carried out by Jonathan Eriksen in 2004.
  • Governance of Public Pension Funds: New Zealand Superannuation Fund (May 2003) - Paper by Brian McCulloch and Jane Frances presented to 2nd Public Pension Fund Management Conference, World Bank Headquarters, May 5-7 2003. Has also been reprinted as a chapter in: Musalem, AR and R J Palacios Public Pension Fund Management: Governance, Accountability, and Investment Policies (2004, World Bank).

    Financing New Zealand Superannuation (WP 01/20, September 2001) - Treasury Working Paper by Brian McCulloch and Jane Frances.

  • Pre-funding New Zealand Superannuation Information Release (June - October 2001) - Cabinet papers and Treasury reports relating to the development of the Government's policy on pre-funding New Zealand Superannuation (NZS).
  • Unclaimed Money - New Zealand Superannuation - Referral information regarding making a claim to Work and Income for a deceased relative or partner's entitlements to New Zealand Superannuation.
Last updated: 
Tuesday, 2 June 2009