The Heritage Bank Pension Plus is a high interest savings account for Australians over the age of 55 that has the flexibility of a transaction account. This specialised account allows for internet and phone banking along with accessibility to your cash with a Visa debit card. Heritage Bank only provides this account for certain Australians who meet their eligibility criteria.
What are the features of the Heritage Bank Pension Plus?
Managing a fixed income is not always easy and you want a banking account that can provide you with the features needed to conduct your everyday transactions, while still building a modest income. Compare what Heritage Bank offers their senior customers with similar products from other Australian banks:
- Monthly account keeping fees. With the Pension Plus account you pay no monthly charges.
- Interest. The interest rates for this account are tiered, with higher balances of over $2,000 earning more each month. You will receive a prime interest rate if your balance is in excess of $48,001.
- Interest calculation. The interest is calculated daily on your balance and paid into the account once a month.
- Accessibility options. Available with this account is an EFTPOS card, Visa debit card, chequebook, or passbook.
- Visa debit card. The Visa debit card gives you access to your money through over 2,900 ATMs in Australia. It can also be used to make purchases in person, online and over the phone.
- ATM access. You have unlimited free use of Heritage Bank ATMs with your Visa debit card. Other ATM networks available to Heritage Bank customers include Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne. With these, there is a monthly limit on the number of times you can make transactions without being charged.
- Transaction limits. You are allowed up to 15 EFTPOS and network ATM withdrawals each month without incurring any charges. If you exceed that limit you will be charged $0.50 for each EFTPOS transaction and $1.75 for ATM withdrawals and balance enquiries.
- Overseas transactions. For each withdrawal at an ATM or over the counter overseas will be charged $5 plus a foreign currency conversion fee. Other fees may also apply originating from the foreign bank you are using.
- Direct debits. Direct debits and credits can be made using this account free of charge.
- Online banking. You can make transactions online using your personal computer, iPad or mobile phone. The app is available for iPhone and Android devices and allows you to check your balance, pay bills with BPAY and make transfers.
- Availability. This account is available for retired Australians aged 55 or older, or in receipt of a government pension.
- Membership. Heritage Bank is community owned financial institution. In order to take advantage of the Pension Plus or any other account, you must first become a member.
- There is $0 account keeping fee
- Internet, mobile and phone banking are free for this account
- Start with a low minimum opening balance of $1
- ATM withdrawals and balance enquiries have a $1.75 fee (once you've passed the threshold)
- $5 for overseas ATM withdrawals
How do I apply for the Heritage Bank Pension Plus account?
If after making your comparisons you have found that the Pension Plus account is able to simplify your banking needs, you can start an online application. If you are not already a member of Heritage Bank you will first need to apply for membership and pay the $1 shareholder fee. Other eligibility requirements include:
- Minimum age. You must be at least 55 years of age, or receiving a government pension to qualify for this account.
- Residency requirement. You will need to be an Australian resident with a verifiable residential address in order for your application to be considered.
- Depository requirement. You will need to make an initial deposit of $1, or $100 if you choose to have cheque access with the account.
In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, you should also have the following documentation readily available to make filling out the application easier:
- Tax file number. Although not mandatory, providing your tax file number (TFN) or exemption code will ensure that taxes on your earned interest are withheld at the correct rate.
- Identification. In order to verify your identity, you will need to provide information from your driver’s licence, passport or Medicare card.
After submitting your application you will receive notice from Heritage Bank outlining the details of your new account. If you opted for an EFTPOS or Visa debit card, that will arrive at the address you provided when filling out the application.