Loophole entitles pensioners to free university education
Does anyone here plan to go to university when they retire?
Christine Armstrong went to university when she was 63 years old. Three years later, she holds a BA in English from Oxford University and is now completing a Masterís degree.
Like many undergraduates, Mrs Armstrong was granted a student loan to cover her tuition fees during her degree, as well as a maintenance grant and a bursary from Oxford.
But unlike most of her younger contemporaries, she is not required to pay her student loan back, as her pension does not exceed the threshold beyond which repayments are required.
The recent change in the student fees system could make this a possibility for many more pensioners interested in a university education. Under the new system, introduced last September, people donít have to repay a student loan if they earn less than £21,000 a year. This threshold will rise in April 2017, in line with average earnings.
Research from Prudential showed that those entering retirement this year expected an average income of £15,300 a year Ė well below the loan repayment threshold.
So could a student loan be the ultimate freebie for pensioners? There is no age limit on tuition fee loans of up to £9,000 a year, which apply if you are studying full or part-time and are paid directly to your university or college.