Retirement versus Medical Retirement

In New Zealand you are entitled to the pension at age 65.

You are entitled to this regardless of the marital status or regardless of your spouses/partners income or even if you decide to continue to work. It is not assessed.

You can also be medically retired at any age. This medical retirement is traditionally done in consultation with your doctor/specialist.

If you are medically retired you are not entitled to the pension as it is set at age 65 and does not take into consideration your medical ability for work.

However you are entitled to apply for a benefit from WINZ through the normal process.

If you are living with a spouse/partner their income is assessed against your application.

If your spouse/partner earns more than $400 per week you are not entitled to a benefit of any description. You may be entitled to some form of supplement.

This means that if you are medically retired and loss your income through no fault of your own you are not entitled to the pension and you may not be entitled to any assistance depending on your situation. But if you retire at age you get the pension regardless of your situation.

This marginalises a minority group through no fault of their own.

It puts this minority group under undue mental stress.

It disenfranchises the minority group by removing their financial dignity.