According to Will Hale, director for equity release specialist Key Partnerships, the government missed an opportunity in April to inform consumers of the benefits of equity release, and suggested that steps should be taken to back the recommendations of those in the financial services industry.
Nevertheless Mr Hale, director at Key Partnerships, argued there remains a lack of government support for equity release schemes. He said: “It is encouraging that advisers are becoming more aware of the role that equity release can play in retirement income planning, however it is equally important that they seek specialist advice and feel supported by the government.”
This came as a poll by Key Partnerships found that 77 per cent of advisers believed that the government should consult with the financial services industry in order to bring equity releases to the forefront of long-term financial planning.
Measures have been taken to draw government attention to the potential benefits of equity release, as the FCA revealed in September it would review equity release rules following fears that not enough pensioners were using property wealth.
In October the Work and Pensions Select Committee recommended including property wealth in the Pension Wise service.
Lorreine Kennedy, founder of Hertfordshire based company Carematters, said: “All those under 70 must now start viewing their homes in a different way, and consider them as part of their pension pot rather than something to be passed on through inheritance. I have seen Equity release change lives in really positive ways, and I am eager to reduce some of the stigma that seems to surround it.”
“For me there has not been enough done on the part of the government. While the Equity Release Council do an awful lot of advertising, the government has limited itself to a handful of sound bites and the best they appear to have come up with is suggesting downsizing. I believe that this is where equity release can be really helpful to retirees, and more needs to be done on the part of this government to express that.”