Equity release could play a bigger role in funding long term care "if we had more certainty around state benefits" says director general of SHIP, Andrea Rozario.
Speaking at the third evidence session of the Health Select Committee's inquiry into social care, Rozario alerted MPs of Pensions Policy Institute research which found pensioners were sitting on £250 billion of housing equity. Currently the equity release market stands at just under £1bn a year with only a very small part of this equity going towards care funding.
Rozario explained there remains a lack of knowledge about equity release among the general public: "They are not necessarily aware of how products have changed or the safeguards that are available, and that they could actually use this (equity) to pay for domiciliary care - and potentially long term care."
She continued: "There is a lack of information for the consumer to be able to make any choices. The products available could certainly develop and evolve if we had more certainty around state benefits, and the impact of equity release upon state benefits, and around the long term care market.
In addition, to make the journey better for those in need, she stressed: "We need one government department to take ownership of equity release".
Partner Insight: Continuing the Architas education series for clients.
What made financial headlines over the weekend?
290,000 already affected
Putting the tech into protection
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews