Protect seniors - introduce a No Negative Equity Guarantee to the Pension Loans Scheme
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The Pension Loans Scheme (PLS) is the Australian government's 'reverse mortgage' scheme administered via Centrelink and DVA. Changes to the PLS introduced on 1 July 2019 make the PLS accessible to significantly more seniors, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet financially.
Since 2012 the Australian Government has required commercial providers (e.g. banks) of reverse mortgages to comply with the National Consumer Credit Act regulations. One of the key measures designed to protect senior consumers is the No Negative Equity Guarantee (NNEG) provisions. The NNEG effectively ensures seniors (or their estates) can not end up owing more on their reverse mortgage than what the property is ultimately sold for. This legislation was introduced to overcome mis-selling risks for seniors when choosing reverse mortgages (such as those experienced in the UK).
Perversely, the Australian Government provides no such protection for vulnerable seniors who participate in it's Pension Loans Scheme.
Without the same NNEG protections vulnerable seniors are exposed and as a result may not participate in the PLS - leaving them with few options other than living at or below the poverty line in their retirement years.
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