Commenting on the Liberal Democrat findings on the funding of social care for pensioners, Andrea Rozario, director general of SHIP, said: “The Liberal Democrats have highlighted a major issue facing many pensioners: how they will fund their social care. The use of housing equity poses a real possible solution to this complex problem.
“Indeed, research from the Liberal Democrats has found that 66% of pensioner households do not have sufficient assets – if you exclude their homes – with which to pay for various types of care. So with the country’s over-65s currently sharing £907 billion worth of equity in their homes, equity release is a practical solution to this funding crisis.
“Equity release could not only help to fund private insurance schemes as proposed by the Conservatives, but could also provide a wider choice of care options all-round. Delivering a simple effective method by which those who find themselves needing care in the home for example, could access the equity tied up in their homes to pay for this care, plans offered by SHIP members would also ensure safeguards and rights to these consumers to offer them further peace of mind.
“Communication and co-operation between consumers, intermediaries and providers is of paramount importance for people to fully understand the benefits of equity release. We hope that all parties will take this opportunity to work with the private sector to develop workable solutions to the very real care funding crisis the country faces.”