People will have to be resident in New Zealand for 25 years to get Superannuation under proposals by Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell - a dramatic increase from the current rules.

The Government says it will review recommendations by Maxwell to shake up who is eligible for New Zealand Superannuation but it's not planning any big changes.

Maxwell released a raft of suggestions yesterday, including increasing the residency requirement, raising the age of eligibility and resuming contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund as part of her three-yearly review of retirement policy.

Currently people have to be resident in New Zealand for just 10 years after the age of 20, including five after the age of 50, to be eligible for NZ Super. But Maxwell wants it to increase to 25 years.


She said New Zealand was an outlier in having a short residency requirement for superannuation which was currently the lowest in the OECD.

The average residence requirement was 26 years across the OECD.

As well as the residency increase she has repeated a call to increase the age of eligibility from 65 to 67 but wants it done incrementally over an eight-year timeframe starting in 2027.

Maxwell said talking about changes to superannuation and who gets what were difficult conversations to have.

"But we also know that people are living longer and receiving NZ Super for a longer time. If we do nothing soon then we are putting off more painful decisions that will have to be made in the future.

"If changes are agreed now then there is time to introduce them in a way that allows people to plan and prepare."

Steven Joyce, Acting Minister of Finance, said he would have a look at the recommendations.

"We've said that we'll do a stocktake of all our policies over the break and that's what we'll do," Joyce said "But we are not anticipating any big changes in superannuation settings."


Joyce said superannuation in New Zealand was relatively affordable.

"The cost of NZ Super is currently 4.9 per cent of GDP, and Treasury projects this will rise to 7.9 per cent of GDP in 2060," he said.

"This is still well under the current OECD average superannuation costs of 9 per cent of GDP." Figures provided by the Commission for Financial Capability which Maxwell heads up show the cost of NZ Super is expected to triple in the next 20 years from $11 billion to $36 billion with more people hitting the over 65 age-group and living for longer.