Unlocking Housing Wealth – options to meet retirement needs

The Actuaries Institute released this Green Paper which provides a range of policy options designed to facilitate access to retirees’ housing wealth and improve living standards.

The paper aims to continue the discussion commenced by our earlier research on longevity risk – the risk that people will outlive their savings. This paper raises policy options that aim to remove impediments that constrain older Australians from accessing part or all of their housing wealth when they retire if they wish.​

Issues discussed in the paper include:

  • Partial protection (up to a cap) from the Age Pension means test for amounts accessed under home equity release schemes and downsizing.
  • Government should consider reviewing the regulation/legislation relating to all equity release schemes and develop a principles-based approach to regulation which ensures security of tenure, applies to all types of schemes and providers, and facilitates standard and simpler disclosures.
  • Regulatory protection for the elderly to help prevent financial abuse.

The paper was produced by the Actuaries Institute Housing Working Group - Convenor Catherine Nance (Convenor), Andrew Boal, Alun Stevens, Wen Liu, Christine Brownfield, James Hickey, John Piggott John McLenaghan and Deputy CEO & Head of Public Policy Elayne Grace.

An Insights Session to discuss the research was held on 19 November 2015.