Seniors Can Benefit from Reverse Mortgage – Byles

Photo: Rudranath Fraser President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Group, Richard Byles (left), shakes hands with President of the Jamaica Government Pensioners Association (JGPA), Charles Jones, following the JGPA’s Christmas luncheon at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, December 14.

Story Highlights

  • President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Group, Richard Byles, is urging the Government to consider implementing a reverse mortgage programme as an additional source of funds for retirees.
  • He said it would enable retirees to borrow against their home's equity, while maintaining ownership of the property. Under this scheme, no repayment of the mortgage, principal or interest is required until the borrower dies or the home is sold.
  • Mr. Byles said a reverse mortgage would empower a wide cross section of Jamaican seniors who are homeowners, as it does not require a monthly payment and would make up for any shortfall in pensions due to inflation.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Group, Richard Byles, is urging the Government to consider implementing a reverse mortgage programme as an additional source of funds for retirees.

He said it would enable retirees to borrow against their home’s equity, while maintaining ownership of the property. Under this scheme, no repayment of the mortgage, principal or interest is required until the borrower dies or the home is sold.

“You get a sum of money, which is paid back by you, your beneficiaries and family, or the house is sold and the loan repaid. You continue to live in that house, but in the meantime, you have the benefit of the equity in your house,” he explained.

Mr. Byles said a reverse mortgage would empower a wide cross section of Jamaican seniors who are homeowners, as it does not require a monthly payment and would make up for any shortfall in pensions due to inflation.

“This is a good idea, because it gives you funds that are better used by you to deal with your health [for example]. This is something that we in Jamaica should look at,” he added.

The former Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) was addressing the Jamaica Government Pensioners Association’s Christmas luncheon held on December 14 at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

Mr. Byles recommended that the Financial Services Commission (FSC) should look into the regulatory guidelines that would be required to develop such a programme.

“Many pensioners own a house and they should have the option under the right regulatory framework to be able to extract the equity from their houses and to use it as they see best,” he noted.

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