This note is not part of the order, but is intended to indicate its general effect.
This order, which comes into force on 1 April 2015, increases a range of benefits, allowances, asset limits, superannuation entitlements, etc. The increases reflect both mandatory adjustments and some additional discretionary increases. Where an annual CPI increase is required, it reflects the increase of 0.51% in the New Zealand Consumers Price Index from the December 2013 quarter to the December 2014 quarter, calculated for all quarters using the New Zealand Consumers Price Index (All Groups), excluding cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Annual CPI increases are required under section 61HA of the Social Security Act 1964 for the following benefits: former widows’, sole parent support, orphans’ and unsupported childs’, supported living payment, jobseeker support, former domestic purposes, the hospital rate, and youth payments and young parent payments. These increases are set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1.
Annual CPI increases are also required, under section 15 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001, to superannuation entitlements. Section 16 of that Act requires that those increases may be more than the CPI increase in certain cases. The total of the increases required by both sections 15 and 16 is set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1.
The discretionary increases made under section 61H of the Social Security Act 1964 are in respect of—
the income thresholds for a totally blind beneficiary to be eligible for an additional allowance:
the rates of child disability allowance and disability allowance:
the abatement rates and income limits for the youth payment and young parent payment:
various asset and income limits that may be applied to certain assistance.
Further increases to the disability allowance income limits are made in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to ensure that current recipients of New Zealand superannuation or the veterans’ pension do not lose eligibility for a disability allowance as a result of the increase to the rates of those benefits under this order and the Veterans’ Support Amendment Regulations 2015.
Increases to superannuation entitlements, which build on the increases set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1, are also made, in order to implement the Government’s commitment to ensure that the net married couple rate of New Zealand superannuation is set at a minimum of 66% of the net average wage. These increases are set out in Part 2 of Schedule 2.
Under section 61H(3) of the Social Security Act 1964, this order expires on the close of the period of 12 months commencing with the date on which it was presented to the House of Representatives, unless it is expressly validated and confirmed by an Act of Parliament before that date.