Life Insurance  

Just retirement enters long-term care market

Steve Lowe, director, said the product launch – which was announced in May and is now being trialled through a pilot group of advisers – would build “competitive tension” and bring more choice to an underdeveloped market.

Friends Life and Partnership are the only other providers currently offering similar products.

He said: “This product launch should fulfill the immediate needs requirement of Saga’s customer base and we expect to roll out to the wider adviser market within the next few months.”

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Mr Lowe added that the new product would enable Just Retirement to position itself ahead of future long-term care developments. The government’s proposed Care Bill, which includes a cap on care fees of £72,000, is set to be debated in the House of Lords in October.

He said the firm had proposed three amendments to the Bill, including the introduction of a government sponsored awareness campaign, a statutory requirement for local authorities to refer clients to a regulated financial adviser when discussing long-term care, and deferred payment systems.

Just Retirement’s product launch came after it announced that sales across the group rose by 12.9 per cent to £1.65bn during the last quarter of the 2012/2013 financial year .

Annuity sales were up by 12.5 per cent to £1.34bn, while sales of annual lifetime mortgages grew by 14.7 per cent to £309.7m.

Adviser view

Liz Faye, head of care services for Lancashire-based IFA Carepal, said: “Just Retirement’s entrance into this market is very positive and there is plenty of room for further growth. More people are becoming aware of the need to plan, and we have experienced a growth in people enquiring about immediate needs annuities.”