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Enquiries & Complaints Guide
ACC and age discrimination
The Commission notes that issues around ACC are complex and you may need to look further for answers to your queries. Your queries may not be covered here.
Can I get ACC if I am getting NZ Superannuation?
If you are working at 65 and entitled to NZ Superannuation you cannot also receive earnings-related ACC compensation. People are eligible to receive ACC once they reach 65 (the current qualification age), but they have to choose either weekly ACC compensation or superannuation, not both.
Self employed people are required to pay ACC levies and still need to choose whether to receive superannuation or ACC.
Isn’t having to choose between ACC and NZ Superannuation discrimination because of age?
Some argue that this is discriminatory because when you qualify for NZ Superannuation, you are entitled to superannuation as well as your income. As ACC compensation is in lieu of income, they argue that you shouldn’t have to forgo it when you reach the superannuation age.
The government has said that the age limit of 65 is justified discrimination because it is designed to protect the fairmess and sustainability of the ACC system. This has yet to be tested in the courts.
The Commission’s complaints process is one of mediation and does not extend to determining whether or not a particular policy is unlawful. When a complaint is not able to be resolved through the mediation process, complainants have the right to take their matter to the Tribunal, either directly or by seeking representation from the Director of Human Rights Proceedings.
Some organisations which have information on ACC and/or NZ Superannuation are:
- Accident Compensation Corporation: http://www.acc.co.nz/index.htm
- Ministry of Social Development – Seniors: http://www.msd.govt.nz/what-we-can-do/seniorcitizens/index.html
- Work and Income NZ – Superannuation rates: http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/deskfile/main_benefits_rates/new_zealand_superannuation_tables.htm
- Sorted 60 Plus: http://www.sorted.org.nz/life-stages/60plus
- Age Concern NZ: http://www.ageconcern.org.nz/ [Note: There is a section on ACC and You.]