How do seniors bank accounts differ from regular accounts

Oct 28, 2019

After a lifetime of working hard and squirrelling away cash to ensure you have enough set aside to allow you to live life to the fullest in retirement, you want to rest easy knowing that your money is in the most secure bank account with the best perks available.

However, with so many offerings from banks and building societies to consider, deciding where to deposit your hard-earned savings can be tough. And while there are accounts for seniors, intended solely for banking customers who are over the age of 55, you need to do some digging to see whether you’d be better off with a dedicated pensioners account, or with a plain old bank account.

What are seniors accounts?

Seniors savings accounts are specifically geared towards the needs of Aussies aged 55 and over, as well as those in receipt of a pension from the government, such as the Age Pension or the Disability Support Pension. However, as with all banking products, it’s important to note that not all seniors accounts are alike.

According to Finder.com.au, some retiree accounts offer higher interest rates for customers with larger bank balances, while other seniors bank accounts pay interest in line with the deeming rate.

How do they differ from regular bank accounts?

The main difference between regular bank accounts and dedicated seniors accounts is that you usually won’t be required to pay a monthly account fee. Many transaction and savings accounts nowadays – especially those that offer additional perks – charge a monthly amount, however this can be reduced (or even waived) if you meet the account’s terms, such as depositing a certain amount per month or making no withdrawals.

Another difference is that retiree accounts pay interest, whereas not all regular accounts do. Finder.com.au also advises that senior-specific account holders should also never incur charges for over-the-counter transactions at a bank, and can also receive a cheque book free of charge.

Which seniors account you go for (if you decide its the right choice to suit your banking needs, that is) depends entirely on your personal circumstance. How much you have put away in savings, along with what returns you’d like for an account, can all make a difference when it comes to choosing the most suitable product. H

Canstar Blue recently announced their Savings and Transaction Account Star Ratings, which recognise top performing products that offer “outstanding value to Australians”. The following senior saver accounts gained a five star rating:

  • Australian Military Bank – Pension Access Account
  • bcu – advantage saver
  • Macquarie Credit Union – Gold Retirement Account
  • Queensland Country Credit Union – Pension Plus
  • Teachers Mutual Bank – Pension Advantage
  • UniBank – Pension Advantage S30

If you’re unsure whether a seniors account could be right for you, it could be a good idea to use a comparison website, such as Finder or Compare the Market to compare the pros and cons of various offerings. You should also think about what you want from your financial institution, for example would you like to do your banking in-branch, or do you prefer to manage your money via online banking or an app?

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services advice.

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