Changes to the Pension Loans Scheme from 1 July 2019

Changes to the Pension Loans Scheme will impact new and existing participants. More people will be able to access it.

To access the Pension Loans Scheme (PLS) you must qualify for an eligible pension. Currently, you must also have a payment rate above $0 for either the income or assets test.

From 1 July 2019, you must still qualify for an eligible pension. However, you can have a payment rate of $0 for either test and still access the PLS.

From 1 July 2019 maximum rate pension recipients will also be able to access the PLS.

The amount you can get per fortnight will increase from 100% to 150% of the maximum fortnightly pension rate. This means you can now get up to 1.5 times the maximum rate of pension each fortnight.

Eligible pensions are:

  • Age Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer Payment
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • Wife Pension.

If you’re not in the Pension Loans Scheme

The scheme allows you to access a loan from the Australian government. To qualify you must meet all of the following:

  • you qualify for or get an eligible payment
  • you own real estate in Australia with enough equity to secure the loan
  • you have adequate insurance covering the secured real estate
  • you’re not bankrupt or subject to a personal insolvency agreement
  • you or your partner are Age Pension age or older.

From 1 July 2019 you can apply for the Pension Loans Scheme online with a Centrelink online account through myGov.

If you’re already in the Pension Loans Scheme

If you’d like to increase the loan amount you get each fortnight contact us on or after 1 July 2019.

There will be additional notification obligations that all participants of the scheme must comply with. They must:

  • have adequate insurance covering the secured real estate
  • not be bankrupt, or subject to a personal insolvency agreement.

Next steps

We recommend you seek independent financial or legal advice before making any decisions about the Pension Loans Scheme.

Find out more about the Pension Loans Scheme.

Page last updated: 2 August 2019

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