The specialist pensions provider warned that, based on analysis of care trends across UK councils, there are approximately 126,000 people entering care each year.
This could see councils shouldering up to an additional £1.62bn burden in England alone. Add this to the anticipated £1bn-pound living wage bill, and local services will be under more pressure than ever, its analysis predicted.
Rising costs are just the tip of the iceberg, Jim Boyd, director of corporate affairs at Partnership has warned. According to research among 9,774 individuals, 43 per cent said they would reduce their assets below the £23,250 threshold in order to ensure councils paid for their long-term care.
Mr Boyd said: “While the second tranche of the Care Act with its associated implications has been delayed until 2020, councils still face a significant financial burden – which is set to grow considerably if even a third of these people deliberately deprive themselves of their assets.
“Spending or giving away your wealth before you need care might seem attractive, but it does limit your options and means you are likely to have far less control over your future than you may hope.”
He warned that councils in the South East (£338m) and East (£211m) were likely to be most impacted due to the relatively high number of costly care homes in these regions. People in the North East were most likely to say they would spend their wealth and fall back on the state for support.
Impact of Deliberate Deprivation of Assets on Local Councils:
% who would deliberately deprive themselves
No. people entering Care Each year
Potential Cost per region
Janet Davies, co-founder of Warwickshire-based long-term care planning network Symponia, said: “The Partnership survey does indeed highlight an ongoing and potentially increasing problem for the coffers of local councils.
“But we need to reverse our thinking and start taking our own responsibility for what should now be viewed as a natural part of growing older. Yes, there have been fiscal cuts to all government departments, but we need to change our mindset.
“We try to retain control of our finances throughout our lives, so why then is care and its funding given the cold shoulder and ignored?”