War Pensions Act 1954

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Reprint as at 1 April 2014

War Pensions Act 1954

Public Act1954 No 54
Date of assent30 September 1954
Commencement30 September 1954


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the New Zealand Defence Force.



1 Short Title

1A Application of Act

2 Interpretation

3 Act divided into Parts

Part 1


4 Secretary for War Pensions

4A Delegation of Secretary’s powers

5 Deputy Secretary for War Pensions

5A War Pensions Advisory Board

5B Term of office of appointed member

5C Extraordinary vacancies

5D Presiding member

5E Deputies of members

5F Meetings of Advisory Board

5G Administrative services

5H Fees and travelling allowances

5I Functions of Advisory Board

6 War Pensions Boards [Repealed]

7 Chairman of War Pensions Board [Repealed]

8 War Pensions Appeal Boards

9 Chairman of Appeal Board

10 Deputy members

11 Appointments on nomination of NZRSA (Inc)

12 Remuneration and travelling expenses

13 Application of Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908

Procedure in respect of claims for pensions

14 Claims for war pensions or allowances

Delegation of powers of War Pensions Boards


15 District claims panels

15A Delegation of Secretary’s powers to claims panels and national review officers

15B Consideration of claims, etc, by district claims panel

15C National review officers

15D Review of decisions of district claims panel, etc

15E National review officer to determine whether fresh application on grounds of additional evidence should be accepted


16 Appeals to War Pensions Appeal Board

16A Appeals to Social Security Appeal Authority

Presumptions to operate in favour of claimants for pensions

17 Presumption that disablement or death attributable to service

Rules to be observed by Boards in determining claims

18 Boards not bound by rules of evidence, but must determine all claims in accordance with their merits

Part 1A
War Pensions Medical Research Trust

18A Interpretation

18B War Pensions Medical Research Trust Board [Repealed]

18C Membership of Board [Repealed]

18D Extraordinary vacancies [Repealed]

18E Meetings of Board [Repealed]

18F Power to make rules [Repealed]

18G Functions and powers of Board [Repealed]

18H Secretary to Board and other staff [Repealed]

18I War Pensions Medical Research Trust Fund

18J Capital and income of Fund

18K Powers of investment

18L Authorised expenditure

18M Conditions of grants, awards, and fellowships

18N Money to be paid into bank

18O Accounting records must be kept

18OA Financial statements must be prepared

18OB Financial statements must be audited

18P Purposes of Fund declared to be charitable purposes

18Q Travelling allowances [Repealed]

18R Members of Advisory Board not personally liable

18S Contracts of Board [Repealed]

Part 2
War pensions

Grounds for payment of pensions

19 General provisions as to grounds for payment of pensions

Pensions for disabled members of the forces

20 Maximum rate of pensions for total disablement

21 Rates of pensions for disablement resulting from certain major disabilities

22 Rates of pensions in other cases of disablement

23 Additional pension in certain cases of severe disablement

24 Pensions may be temporary or permanent

25 Rate of pension to be determined by reference to nature of disablement

26 Review of pensions

27 Disabled member may be required to undergo medical treatment

28 Clothing allowance in case of loss of limbs, etc

29 Allowance for services of attendant in certain cases

29A Additional payment where decoration awarded

Pensions for wives of disabled members


30 Maximum rates of pensions for wives of disabled members of forces [Repealed]

31 Economic position of disabled member to be considered in determining rate of pension for wife [Repealed]

31A Lump sum payment on death of wife of economic pensioner [Repealed]

Pensions for surviving spouses or surviving partners of deceased members

32 Maximum rates of surviving spouses’ and surviving partners’ pensions

33 Rate of pension for surviving spouse or surviving partner who is a bona fide resident of New Zealand

34 Surviving spouse or surviving partner not entitled to pension in certain cases

35 Pensions to surviving spouses or surviving partners to cease on remarriage, entry into civil union, or commencement of de facto relationship

35A Reinstatement of surviving spouse’s or surviving partner’s pension

Pensions for children of disabled and deceased members

36 Maximum rates of children’s pensions

37 Child not entitled to pension in certain cases

38 Board may terminate pension where family benefit payable [Repealed]

39 Economic position of disabled member to be considered in determining rate of pension for children

40 Increased pensions for children in certain cases

41 Children whose parents are not married [Repealed]

42 Child not to receive pension in respect of more than 1 parent

43 Duration of pensions for children

Pensions for other dependants

44 Maximum rates of pensions for dependants other than spouses, partners, and children

45 Pensions to unmarried females to cease on marriage [Repealed]

46 Economic position of dependant to be considered in determining rate of pension

Miscellaneous provisions as to pensions for dependants

47 Increased pensions to spouse or partner and children of member in receipt of economic pension

48 Pension to surviving spouse, surviving partner, or child of deceased member whose death not attributable to service

49 Pensions to dependants in respect of disablement of member to cease on his death

Increased pensions for member of forces and dependants

50 Increased pensions while member undergoing medical treatment

Pensions for persons other than dependants

51 Pensions for guardians of parentless children

52 Pensions for other persons

53 Economic position of claimant to be considered in determining rate of pension

Extension of this Part to cover special cases

54 Members of forces officially reported as missing

55 Service otherwise than as member of forces

56 Service as member of other Commonwealth forces

56A Arrangements with other countries for payment of pensions, etc

Part 3
Economic pensions


57 Economic pension defined [Repealed]

58 Classes of persons entitled to claim economic pension [Repealed]

59 Grant of economic pensions to be in discretion of War Pensions Board [Repealed]

60 Maximum rates of economic pensions [Repealed]

61 Special provisions where claimant refuses to accept suitable employment [Repealed]

61A Lump sum payment on death of economic pensioner [Repealed]

Part 4
Mercantile marine pensions

62 Pensions for members of mercantile marine and their dependants in respect of disablement or death resulting from Second World War

63 Service as member of other Commonwealth mercantile marine

64 Compensation or damages not payable if pension payable

Part 5
Emergency Reserve Corps pensions

65 Pensions for members of Emergency Reserve Corps and their dependants in respect of disablement or death attributable to their service

66 Compensation or damages may be taken into account in assessing rates of pensions

Part 5A
War service pensions


66A Serviceman defined [Repealed]

66B War service pensions [Repealed]

66C Appeal from decisions of War Pensions Board [Repealed]

66D Residential qualifications for war service pension [Repealed]

66E Rates of war service pension [Repealed]

66F Age supplement where war service pensioner or wife has attained age of 65 years [Repealed]

66G Apportionment of pensions in certain cases [Repealed]

66H Forfeiture of pensions of inmates of institutions [Repealed]

66I Review of pensions [Repealed]

66J Continuation of payment after death of serviceman [Repealed]

66K Continuation of payment after death of wife [Repealed]

66L Election to receive war service pension in certain cases [Repealed]

66M War service pensioners may elect to receive national superannuation [Repealed]

Part 6
Veterans’ pensions

67 Interpretation

67A Meaning of living alone

68 Administration of veterans’ pensions

69 Delegation of Secretary’s powers


70 Entitlement to veteran’s pension

70A Service in connection with any emergency

71 Veteran’s ability to earn employment income

72 Medical examination of applicant for veteran’s pension

73 Commencement of veteran’s pension

74 Rates of veterans’ pensions

74A Lump sum payments on death

74B Persons formerly receiving certain pensions or allowance entitled to veteran’s pension

74BA Entitlement to veteran’s pension for spouses or partners of persons in long-term residential care in hospital or rest home

74C Annual adjustment of rates of veterans’ pensions

74D Abatement

Payment overseas of veterans’ pensions

74E Effect of absence from New Zealand on veteran’s pension

74F First 26 weeks of certain temporary absences

74G Absences up to 2 years for medical treatment

74H Absences up to 156 weeks with aid agencies

74I Date absence commences

74J Payment overseas of veteran's pension

74JA Calculation of amount of veteran's pension payable overseas

74JB Entitlement

74K Applications after leaving New Zealand

74L Date of commencement of payment overseas

74M Relationship with other benefit provisions

74N Specified Pacific country

74O Entitlement to be paid veteran’s pension in specified Pacific country

74P Rates of payment of veteran’s pension payable to people resident in specified Pacific countries

74Q Commencement and termination of payments

74R Effect on other benefits

74S Application of this Act and Social Security Act 1964

74T Certain former economic pensioners may be paid up to the full rate of veteran’s pension overseas

74U Living alone payments [Repealed]

74V Commencement of living alone payments [Repealed]

74W Transitional provision for existing veteran’s pension entitlements

75 Lump sum payment on death of wife of war veteran [Repealed]

Part 7
General provisions

75A War servicemen’s dependants’ allowances [Repealed]

75B Additional pension or allowance for dependent children [Repealed]

75C Rates of pensions, lump sum payments, and allowances may be increased by Order in Council

76 Wives and children of Maoris [Repealed]

77 Conjugal status for purposes of pension or allowance

78 Money received for military decorations

78A Sick benefits received from friendly society

78B Exemption of income from former home property [Repealed]

78C Exemption of income from supplementary assistance [Repealed]

79 Personal earnings from domestic service in a private home [Repealed]

79A Allowable income of persons who have attained 65 years of age [Repealed]

80 Limitation of claims by persons entitled to 2 or more pensions for disablement of same person

80A Service in connection with any emergency

80B Special provisions relating to accident compensation

81 Rates of pension where overseas pension payable

82 Persons receiving superannuation benefit under Social Security Act not to receive certain war pensions and allowances [Repealed]

83 Death of claimant for pension

84 Date of commencement of pensions

84A Payment of pensions and allowances

85 Disposition of accrued pension unpaid at date of death

85A Appeal against decision of War Pensions Board

86 Payment of pensions out of New Zealand

87 Refusal or forfeiture of pension in respect of imprisonment

87A Refusal or reduction of pension in certain cases

88 Appeals to a Magistrate [Repealed]

89 Pensions and allowances absolutely inalienable

90 Recovery of payments made in error

91 Pensions not to be taken into account in assessing compensation or damages

92 Offences

93 Time for filing charge

94 Money payable out of Crown Bank Account

95 Power to extend Parts 4 and 5 to future wars

96 Regulations

97 Repeals and savings

Schedule 1
Maximum rates of pensions for disabled members

Schedule 2
Maximum rates of allowances for services of attendants for disabled members

Schedule 3
Maximum rates of pensions for wives of totally disabled members


Schedule 4
Maximum rates of pensions for surviving spouses or surviving partners of deceased members

Schedule 5
Maximum rates of pensions for children of disabled and deceased members

Schedule 6
Maximum rates of economic pensions and income exemptions


Schedule 7
Rates of war veterans’ allowances


Schedule 8
Maximum allowable earnings of women from domestic service


Schedule 9
Pensions payable for specific disabilities

Schedule 10
Enactments repealed

Schedule 11
Rates of veterans’ pensions

Schedule 12
Payments on death of veteran or veteran’s spouse or civil union partner

Schedule 13
Specified Pacific countries

War Pensions Amendment Act 2005

War Pensions Amendment Act 2006

War Pensions Amendment Act 2009

Social Assistance (Living Alone Payments) Amendment Act 2013

Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to war pensions and allowances