The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Saved cases - PLS before 10 July 1996


People who qualified under the original 1985 PLS are NOT subject to the provisions of the HEAS, although they do have the choice of transferring to the HEAS if they wish. If a person chooses to remain in the original PLS, or does not qualify under the HEAS, they are protected by the savings provision included in the legislation.

This topic explains the provisions of the original PLS that are DIFFERENT from those of the HEAS.

Act reference: SSAct Schedule 1A clause 86 Transitional and saving provisions applicable to the amendments relating to the pension loans scheme

Qualification (1.1.Q.10) criteria - 1985 scheme

To qualify under the 1985 PLS scheme, a person had to be assessed under the assets test, AND meet the following criteria:

  • be of age pension age or the partner of someone who is, AND
  • be in receipt of, or qualified for a pension.

The person's assets had to:

  • comprise at least 70% of total assets in non-liquid form, and
  • provide adequate security for the loan.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(5A) to (5D) Pension age

Asset value

A person under the 1985 PLS is generally required to cease involvement in the scheme if the value of their assets falls below $100,000. To avoid being excluded from the scheme if this happens, the person may sign a waiver that the $100,000 residual rule should not apply to them.

Explanation: The 1985 scheme specified that a minimum of $100,000 must be left in the person's estate after the debt is repaid.

The implications of this provision should have been fully explained to the person at initial interview, and should be explained again in the event that the provisions may actually apply to the person. The person should be advised to consider the effect that signing the waiver will have on their estate, and any possible detriment to their heirs. It would be prudent to also suggest to the person that they take the waiver away and discuss it, if necessary, with any concerned relatives.


Simple interest is charged on the amounts owing under the 1985 PLS. The current interest rate is 7%.

It is applied each payment delivery day, to the outstanding loan principal minus any repayments made by the recipient. The interest does not accrue on previously accrued interest.

Explanation: The interest rate is set by the Minister for DSS, and published in the Australian Government Gazette.

Date of effect Interest rate
25 December 1997 to present 7%
1985 to 24 December 1997 10%

Fringe benefits (1.1.F.190)

All 1985 PLS recipients are entitled to full fringe benefits, regardless of whether they are a part pensioner or full loan recipient.

Last reviewed: