Government Agency versus Government Agency

A member has written and is looking for comment about a problem which might affect other older members of the Association. The problem, yes you guessed it is with WINZ and Veterans Affairs.

work-and-income-logo

veterans-logo-with-no-poppy

 

VERSUS

The member writes ‘Recently my father, an ex Naval and Vietnam Veteran who is in his 95th year had to go into the Rest Home after the death of his daughter who was living and looking after him. As a result of this the family applied for the subsidy for Rest Home Care which is at present being handled by the family solicitor pending the sale of the family home. One of the problems encountered is that when listing a person’s financial status (i.e. bank accounts, pensions assets etc.) WINZ have decided that not only do they take into consideration his normal National Pension but also his WAR Pension as they have decided to consider the War pension as a “private pension”. We have no problems about WINZ taking the normal National Pension off my father (which is apparently normal) as we understand that it goes towards offsetting the costs of being in the home, to which he is given back ‘an allowance’ for sundry items. However, we are currently disputing this attitude over the War Pension and the matter is currently with the family solicitor. I believe Veterans Affairs are now involved and we are currently awaiting a formal reply back from Veterans Affairs on their interpretation.

It would appear that there is a ‘disagreement’ going on between the two government departments (WINZ and Veterans Affairs) over what is considered to be ‘private pension’. As all of us know from the day we all joined the Armed Services back in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and even the 70’s , we ALL had to pay a percentage of our pay into a Super fund. This WAS compulsory – you had no choice! So therefore by no stretch of one’s imagination can this be called ‘a private pension’- it was not a voluntary scheme. This I believe was the same with other government departments such as the Police.

My question, to which I suspect a few of the older members of the Association would be interested in having answered is, – how many other older members are being or have been incorrectly assessed by WINZ as having a ‘private pension scheme’ (Armed services/ War pension) when in fact , that scheme was a compulsory government scheme of which none of us could opt out of?  If there are members out there that have had a similar problem with members of their family, I would be interested in hearing from them.

I cannot understand how one Government Department can decide or apply a different interpretation on something that we had always believed/understood was sacrosanct – that a Serviceman/woman’s War Pension was untouchable, especially when the Veterans Affairs seem to be agreeing with us and our solicitor on our interpretation.

I hope that others may be able to provide some information/feedback on this, or just become aware of this ‘problem’ should they have something similar happen to them in the future.

Well there you have it.. WINZ versus Veterans Affairs. If you have experienced anything like this member please feel free to provide any feedback and please leave a comment to this posting.

Thanks

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7 Responses to Government Agency versus Government Agency

  1. Jim D says:

    There appears to be confusion over the term WAR pension. The war disability pension is NOT classed as private income but the Government Super Fund (what some call their navy pension), is. GSF is classed as income for taxation purposes if your spouse is piggy backing off your national super. Interestingly, Kiwisaver is not classed as a private super fund. Your GSF does not get taxed but your national super does in the case of piggy backing. The other point is that the Veterans Pension is the same as National Superannuation not to be confused with the war disability pension.
    I suggest that the member determines what actual pensions his or her father actually has. Does the father have any or all of the following – Vets or National Super, WDP and GSF?

  2. Jim Blackburn. says:

    Jim..I believe that the GSF is taxed at Source before it is paid out to you…Without diving
    back through all the paper work to verify I think it is about 14%…I know that the GS Annuitants
    Society have been battling successive Governments over this, so far without success

  3. Jim Dell says:

    This is from the GSF site Jim – All GSF pensions became free of tax on 1 April 1990. Therefore members resident in New Zealand no longer need declare their allowance to the Department of Inland Revenue.
    As I said above, GSF is not taxed but is classed as income for taxation purposes in certain circumstances.

    • Jim Dell says:

      I think the original argument is that there is confusion over the term “War Pension”. There is no War Pension. You have Government Superannuation Fund, National Superannuation and if you have a War Disability Pension of 70% or more under Scheme 1, then you qualify for the Veterans Pension in lieu of National Superannuation.

  4. Neill Dorset says:

    Greetings both Jim’s and thank you for the comments. I have made some further enquiries as it would appear that my father ( yes I am the member who was enquiring) is in receipt of a Veterans Pension PLUS a War Disability Pension (not a War Pension) as well as the Government Super. From what the family have gleaned it was this first part WINZ was trying to say was ‘private” and now we are a little wiser on these matters. I have no doubt the solicitor, and Veterans Affairs will sort this out and I know the family appreciates the feed back especially when I am trying to do this from outside New Zealand. Once again many thanks to you both and to you Frank for your advice as well. It’s always good to get steered in the right direction from those who know more about these things.
    Have a Merry Christmas everyone and an enjoyable 2017.
    Kind Regards
    Neill

  5. Bill Bartlett says:

    Hi! I agree with all that Jim D says. Only gripe I have is that as the GSF Annuity is classed as “income” which one is required to declare, in my case anyway, puts a local council rates rebate out of reach!
    BB

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