Broaden access to Pension Loan Scheme: Crossbenchers

Senators Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus, Ricky Muir and Nick Xenophon will today call on the government and opposition to back broadening access to the Pension Loan Scheme (PLS) to any retirees who wish to use it.

Press Conference: Senators together with The Australia Institute executive director, Richard Denniss, will be available for comment 10:45am, APH Mural Hall.

The PLS has been a Commonwealth program for 30 years, offering low interest reverse mortgages to assist older Australians with retirement. The problem is that at the moment it is only available to retirees who are ineligible for the age pension.

Retirees on a full pension cannot use the PLS, even if they would like to. Extending the PLS would allow all retirees have equity in property to use it to boost their retirement income.

Stricter assets tests for the pension were announced in the 2015 Federal Budget, which will reduce the pension for some with certain levels of liquid assets.

Extending access to the PLS would help these and more Australian retirees turn their assets into a higher retirement income, if they want to do so.

The PLS already exists, is entirely voluntary, offers lower interest rates than private reverse mortgages, and could be extended at no cost to the budget to help more retirees boost their own retirement incomes.

A recent report by The Australia Institute on extending the PLS is available – here.

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