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What people tell us about why they are applying for the PLS

23rd Sep, 2020

We speak to literally hundreds of seniors each week and we get to know a bit about them including what they’re concerned about, and the issues they’re trying to deal with as best they can.

There seems to be four broad groups of seniors we to talk to, those who are:

 

 

  1. In need of a large upfront amount of finance

    Their reasons can range from:

    • Wanting to refinance an existing mortgage (perhaps with a high rate of interest)
    • Consolidate their debts
    • Renovate their homes
    • Purchase new cars
    • Enjoy overseas holidays (when we're able to again)
    • Assist kids with home deposits
    • Fund residential aged care, and more
  2. Really struggling to live on the Age Pension and not managing to make ends meet

    Their quality of life is lower than they envisaged before they retired. The range of things this group is looking to finance are quite broad and commonly includes the following:

    • Paying for large bills that come up unexpectedly, on top of all their regular bills
    • Undertaking repairs and maintenance on their home or car
    • Travelling to visit the grandkids who now live interstate
    • Having that short holiday/break that has been put ‘on hold’
    • Paying for medicines that aren’t on the PBS
    • For those living on their own and getting frail, getting some help in to assist them (eg in-home care support)
    • Fixing their home so they can sell it (to downsize)
    • Top up their declining superannuation pension streams; and
    • For a significant group (certainly larger than we expected), just ensuring that their existing mortgage commitments remain paid up so their home is not at risk to the banks forcing them to sell
  3. Currently managing to live on the Age Pension and other sources of income, but want to know what their options are in case they need them in future; and

  4. The kids (and even grandkids) who are worried about how their parents are coping, and are seeking options to help them live a better life

When seniors talk to us about the Government’s Pension Loans Scheme (PLS) we find overwhelmingly that very few seniors are even aware that it is an option for them, despite it being offered by the Australian Government since 1985.

When we explain how the PLS works, with its regular fortnightly payment structure, but no lump sum option, we advise the first group to talk to mortgage brokers or financial planners because the PLS is not a suitable option for them (as Pension Boost is not licensed to discuss these options).

However, with the second and third groups, we are learning that a large proportion worry about the risks of them blowing their spending discipline if they were to access a lump sum or a Line of Credit. Furthermore, these groups seem to gain comfort in that the Government (and not the banks) is behind the PLS. They find that being able to receive a payment each fortnight is a benefit (not a constraint), as it gives them a sense of forced control over their spending.

The PLS provides flexibility to Australian Seniors including:

  • Not having to draw the maximum fortnightly payment amount
  • Reducing the payments if they no longer need the amount they are receiving
  • Pausing the payments if they don’t foresee any major bills coming through for a period of time, whilst being able to restart the payments again if unexpected bills do pop up, and
  • Increasing their payments (up to the maximum) when they feel they need to

By having these options, seniors can unlock a better life whilst keeping control of their PLS and the net equity in their home.

To find out if you’re eligible for the PLS, visit our quick and easy online PLS calculator.

Try the PLS calculator

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