€100m scheme meant to offer pensioners additional revenue stream
Pensioners who missed out on the 62+ Government Savings Bond issued in 2017 will have another chance to benefit from this scheme, with up to €100m being offered, the Finance Minister announced on Tuesday.
Prof. Edward Scicluna was addressing a news conference during which he said that, this time round, preference would be given to those who had not applied before. The bond issue, which will open on 11 June is of €65m, but if it is oversubscribed as it was last year, all offers would be accepted as long as the overall value does not exceed €100m.
The bond scheme is meant to offer pensioners an additional revenue stream through an interest rate of 3% payable twice a year. Prof. Scicluna said that government took this initiative in the wake of the very low interest rates being offered at present by commercial banks.
Capping for the offers has been revised downwards slightly and would be of €8,000 with the minimum being €500. Bonds would not be tradable but might be redeemed in “exceptional” circumstances such as health reasons. There would be a financial penalty equivalent to 90 days interest.
So far, about 16,000 applicants have benefitted. For this issue, those born in 1956 or before may apply but government was not expecting the offer to be oversubscribed.
If this happened, he said, preference would be given to first-time applicants, while the rest would be distributed through an allotment policy which would be decided by the Treasury in due course.
Applications may be obtained from banks and stockbrokers.