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QB 21/01
29 Jan 2021
29 Jan 2021

Income tax – Monthly retirement payments from the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund

This Question We’ve Been Asked (QWBA) discusses the New Zealand tax treatment of monthly retirement benefits received by New Zealand tax residents from the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF). It concludes that the tax exemption in s CW 64, the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1968, and Orders in Council for the United Nations and its agencies do not apply to monthly retirement benefits from the UNJSPF. In general, monthly retirement payments received by retired United Nations staff members are taxed as pensions under s CF 1(g). This conclusion is consistent with the QWBA published as “Tax treatment of United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund pensions”, Tax Information Bulletin Vol 8, No 10 (December 1996), that is updated and replaced by this QWBA. 

Tax Information Bulletin Vol 33 No 2 - March 2021

Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, New York, 13 February 1946, ss 18(b), 20
Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act 1957
Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1968
Diplomatic Privileges (United Nations) Order 1959, cls 11, 12, 13, 14
Income Tax Act 2007, ss CD 36B, CF 1, CF 3, CQ 5, CW 64, HC 15(4)(cc), HC 27(3C), YA 1 “FIF superannuation interest”, YD 1
Regulations, Rules and Pension Adjustment System of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, arts 1, 28
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, art 39

Andrews v CIR; Muir v CIR (1979) 4 NZTC 61,443
Bray (Inspector of Taxes) v Best [1989] 1 All ER 969 (HL)
Brumby (Inspector of Taxes) v Milner [1976] 3 All ER 636
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Commissioner of Income-Tax vs Smt. Dipali Goswami 1985 156 ITR 36 Cal (India)
Laidler v Perry [1966] AC 1
Macoun v Commissioner of Taxation [2015] HCA 44
Nette v Howath [1935] 53 CLR 55 (HCA)
Re Wellington Hospital Board's Clerical Workers [1982] ACJ 207
Shilton v Wilmshurst (Inspector of Taxes) [1991] 3 All ER 148 (HL)
STSJ M 8207/2020 (Spain) 22 July 2020
Tax regime governing pensions paid to retired UNESCO officials residing in France (14 January 2003) as reported in UN Reports of the International Arbitral Awards (Vol XXV at [231]–[266])
Wicks v Firth (Inspector of Taxes); Johnson v Firth (Inspector of Taxes) [1982] 2 All ER 9 (CA)
X v State Secretary for Finance, Supreme Court (Netherlands) 16 January 2009