The Minister for Internal Affairs, Hon. Albert Nicholas, has announced that the Government has extended the eligbility for the Funeral Allowance to NZ Super Pensioners who have returned to live in the Cook Islands.
Currently, a funeral assistance grant is only paid on the death of Cook Islands Old Age Pensioners, however, NZ Super Pensioners that have returned to live in the Cook Islands do not receive any funeral allowance from the NZ government or the Cook Islands Government.
“This is an issue that the Government can do something more for our people who receive the NZ Super Pension and choose to return to the Cook Islands for their retirement,” said Minister Nicholas. “These pensioners are expected to pay tax on their retirement income and who also spend that income here in the Cook Islanders.”
The eligbility criteria will require a minimum of 12 months residence by NZ Super Pension recipients at the time of passing in the Cook Islands. The rate of the funeral allowance to NZ Super Pensioners will be set at $1,200, half the rate paid for Cook Islands Old Age Pensioners.
The Funeral Allowance is administered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and is a non-cash payment (payments are made on presentation of invoices only). Lower rates of funeral assistance grants are also provided for deaths of recipients of the Destitute and Infirmed Payments and the Child Benefit.