17 Apr 2020

MSD to pay beneficiaries stranded overseas

5:08 pm on 17 April 2020

More than 2500 superannuitants and beneficiaries stranded overseas due to Covid-19 will now be able to keep being paid.

Minisrty of Social Development

Minisrty of Social Development Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The government is temporarily relaxing the policy to allow those overseas who get Superannuation, Veteran's Pension or a main benefit to receive their entitlements.

The changes will be introduced from 20 April and will be in place for six months.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said this will give relief to those struggling to get home due to the strict global travel restrictions and border closures.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

"Payments from MSD generally stop when a person leaves the country. However from Monday, policy is to pay or resume payments on hold or stopped from the date that they had expected to return to New Zealand in circumstances where their return home was impeded by Covid-19 restrictions," she said.

There are currently 1,871 beneficiaries and 764 superannuitants overseas with suspended payments.

Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said the changes will help all those superannuitants who have been caught by the shutdown in international travel.

"In the current situation, where it's very difficult for people to return home, it makes sense to relax these rules and provide support," she said.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs