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PENSION LOAN SCHEME

Under the current rules, pensioners can top up their age pension to the maximum rate if they:

  • receive a part pension under the income or assets test, or don’t
  • receive an age pension under either the income or assets test (but not both). 

This allows pensioners to take advantage of a voluntary reverse mortgage scheme, under which Centrelink treats the top-up payments as a loan that is secured by the pensioner’s property. This loan must be repaid when the pensioner either sells the property or passes away. 

From 1 July 2019, the government proposes to expand the scheme by making all age pensioners eligible and increasing the maximum top-up payments from 100% to 150% of the maximum age pension rate. 

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU ?

If you’re receiving the maximum age pension, you could be eligible for annual top-up pension payments of up to $11,799 for singles or $17,877 for couples. However, some restrictions may apply, depending on factors such as:

  • your age

  • whether you are single or a member of a couple

  • the value of your home 

  • the expected duration of these top-up payments.