Is $274.90 per week enough to live on?

$274.90 is what you will each get when you get to age 65 if you are married and collect the government superannuation. If you are single and live alone you will get $357.42. Not a lot of money!

The level of NZ Super payments are set by the government each year to ensure they take into account any increases in the cost of living and wages. For couples who both qualify it’s based on 66% of the average “ordinary time” wage after tax. For single people it is based on 40%.

Have you thought about how much you will need when you get to retirement? Generally most people don’t think too much about this until they start getting quite close to retirement age, and often this makes it much harder to save the amount of money you want to have once you have retired. 

Time is our best friend when it comes to retirement and the sooner you start putting something away the better. Because of compounding interest, the younger you start, the smaller the regular payment amount you need to put away. That’s why KiwiSaver is so good. It makes it easy for people to save for the long term especially when employer and government contributions are added in. However KiwiSaver is still very new and won’t make much of a difference for those who are currently close to retirement.  The latest NZ Super rates are below.

NZ Superannuation rates from 1 April 2013 after tax (taxed at “M”)

Qualifying as

Weekly rate

Annual rate

Single – living alone

$357.42

$18,585.84

Single – sharing

$329.93

$17,156.36

Married, civil union or de facto couple
–  both partners qualify

$549.88
($274.94 each)

$28,593.76
($14,296.88 each)

Married, civil union or de facto couple
– one partner qualifies and the other is included

$522.62

$27,176.24

Married, civil union or de facto couple
– one partner qualifies (and the other is not included)

$274.94

$14,296.88


I certainly wouldn’t be happy if the NZ Super was all the income I had to live on. What about you? How much will your KiwiSaver fund add? What else could you be doing to increase your retirement income? 

To learn more about the NZ Super visit:

http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/65-years-or-older/superannuation/

By Lisa Dudson

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