Caring for an Ageing Population

With the number of U.K. citizens aged 75+ doubling to 10 million by 2040, and with 1.3 million people already receiving social care services in England alone, social care funding is a key public policy challenge.

The Government has launched a set of reforms designed to get social care funding onto a sustainable footing by establishing a new level for what individuals and the state will pay. The reforms are designed to encourage individuals to explore how best to use their available wealth and assets to meet care costs through a mixed system of local authority and private sector care-funding options. One option is to use the value in the home to bridge the cost between out-of-pocket costs and care home fees.

In this article, we consider two new financial arrangements designed to meet the needs of people in different financial circumstances based on releasing equity from the home. These are an equity-backed insurance product and an “equity bank” that lets a person draw down an income from their home.

This paper was first published in The Geneva Papers, 2016, (1–23), published by The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics.

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