As a pensioner, you may be struggling to make ends meet. Many people are surprised at how expensive retirement can be, especially if it is coupled with failing health and other financial burdens. Luckily, there are sources for financial help, some of which are designed specifically with pensioners in mind. Here are a few of the options that may be available to you, once you become a pensioner.
One of the primary forms of financial support pensioners can receive through the Australian government is the Age Pension. If you have been a resident of Australia for at least 10 years, have reached pension age, and qualify based on the income and assets test limits, you may be eligible for fortnightly payments designed to help you financially.
Payment rates vary based on your relationship status and other factors. Some pensioner may also be eligible for a variety of supplements designed to make retirement more affordable.
Learn more about the age pension here.
Pension Loan Schemes
For more long-term support during your retirement, you may want to look into the Pension Loan Scheme. To qualify, you must be a homeowner, have equity in your home, and meet the necessary age requirements.
The Pension Loan Scheme allows you to receive a fortnightly payment based on the amount of equity you have and the length of time you would like to receive this form of financial assistance. The loan comes with an interest rate, currently set at 5.25%, and may require a setup fee be rolled into the loan.
Repayment terms vary depending on how long you receive payments, the amount of equity available, and whether you intend to sell the home. Since the loan functions as a reverse mortgage, participating in the Pension Loan Scheme will affect your estate if you die before the loan is repaid.
In addition to the above, check out a few other loan options for pensioners here.
No Interest Loan Scheme
Pensioners who have a low-income may qualify for a loan through the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS). This program provides access to funds ranging from $300 to $1,200 to help people afford essential goods and services including health items, like wheelchairs, household goods, like furniture and large appliances, and car repairs. The loan doesn’t come with interest charges or any associated fees, and must be repaid over the course of 12 to 18 months, depending on the amount borrowed and your total income.
To qualify, you must have a pension card or at least be eligible to receive one. Additionally, you must prove that you are willing and financially able to repay the funds in a timely manner.
For further details on these loans and how to apply, visit our interest free loans assistance page.
Charities and Non-Profits
A number of charitable organizations can provide financial support to pensioners. They may be able to offer funds to handle anything from an emergency medical situation to a utility bill that you are struggling to pay.
What is available may vary by area, so you’ll need to research local organizations and those that operate nationally to see if they offer support for your kind of need. If so, the provided funds may not need to be repaid, making it an ideal option for short-term financial struggles that are likely to be remedied quickly.