Articles - Reaction to joint statement on long-term care

 In response to the joint statement of intent on long-term care between the ABI and the Government announced today please find the thoughts of Alastair Black, head of customer income at Standard Life, below:

 “We are supportive of the ABI and Department of Health’s approach to this key consumer issue. Many people entering care will only have two substantial assets to help finance this: their house and their pension. And due to the strong emotional attachments to their home, we consider that providing greater scope to access pension savings is a more attractive option for people. With minor, but important, adaptions to existing HMRC restrictions we believe flexible drawdown could help people to meet their costs of funding care. The introduction of a an impaired drawdown option, as offered to annuitants, and reducing the drawdown Minimum Income Requirements could be the first steps in helping people fund their care costs. Funding long-term care costs is complex and involves making difficult decisions, therefore speaking with a financial adviser will help cut through the complexities and should result in people making the right decisions.”

 Clive Bolton, Aviva’s Managing Director of ‘At Retirement’:

 “We support the statement of intent on long-term care and are committed to working with government and the industry to ensure people reaching their later years really have options, regardless of what life throws at them. This is a complex area and requires the industry to work in an integrated way across private and public sector care, so along with the Care Bill this statement of intent is a good step towards achieving that.

 “At the core of getting this right for consumers is to understand the needs of those people who face difficult decisions about their long-term care. Supporting people at a time when they actually have to make a choice about their care, often when they are in their early 70s, is essential. It is at this specific point in a person’s life, when they may be aware of medical conditions that will require care later on, that we can help them prepare for their later years.

 “Industry and government need to work together to ensure the right conversations happen at a time when someone can make an informed decision with all the facts before them. It might start with a will, but will go on to encompass care products and services, and the funding to support this. It is far better to put arrangements in place in a considered manner, rather than as a distress purchase. And it is also important that tools are available to ensure people do not enter care plans that they and their family cannot afford.”

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