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Old 06-09-2014, 07:55 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
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A New Zealander who has paid taxes for most of her working life has been refused a full pension under rules she says are unfair.

Lynn Kirkland-Hammer is retired but only gets a few dollars a month because her husband's pension, paid by the Swedish government, is enough for both of them, according to the Ministry of Social Development.

"My only option is to get divorced from the man I love if I want to get some pension. How can that be right?" Mrs Kirkland-Hammer says.

In a statement, MSD's Lindsay Meehan says calculations show "Mr Hammar receives an overseas pension which pays more than the married rate of New Zealand superannuation."
Known as Section 70, the rule is intended to prevent people claiming pensions in two countries at once. But it also allows Work and Income to deduct the amount an individual receives from an overseas pension from what their partner is entitled to in New Zealand.

"In principal it is fair to not pay people two basic state pensions. Where the problem arises is where there's confusion or difference over the classification of what is a state pension," says Dr Menzies.

That definition is a sore point for Mrs Kirkland-Hammer because two- thirds of her husband's pension is coming from a savings plan that's income related, not a base pension. Income from personal or company super schemes is not deducted under section 70, but her husband's supplementary pension which is based on his income, is deducted.


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