Social care  

Social care reform to create ‘major demand’ for advice

Social care reform to create ‘major demand’ for advice

Government plans to reform social care in the coming year will be beneficial for advisers, Aegon has suggested.

The coronavirus crisis has put pressure on the government to publish proposals on social care reform next year which in turn will boost demand for advice, according to Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon.

Mr Cameron said: “The devastating impact the pandemic has had on our most elderly has made it even more urgent that the government delivers on promised reforms to social care funding. 

“Previous suggestions to create sustainable funding included an increase in income tax or National Insurance, earmarked for social care, and perhaps just for the over 40s. 

“But the chancellor will now need to undertake a tricky balancing act to assess any such changes against whatever other plans he may have in store.  

“Whatever the outcome, this will surely create a major new demand for advice in future years.”

As part of the chancellor’s spending review in November, the government said it was committed to improving the adult social care system and would bring forward proposals on how to do this in 2021.

Some have suggested advisers should specialise in this market to benefit from any developments.

Tracy Crookes, adviser at Quilter Private Client Advisers, previously said: “Care planning is going to become a bigger need going forward. 

“We are at the stage now where clients have got more investable assets than they have had in the past, but as this goes down through the generations those investments are going to be eroded, some of which will be through care costs. 

“So where the younger generation feel they may inherit assets that will not necessarily happen if more people are having to use investments to fund care.”

Long-running issue

Prime minister Boris Johnson has promised repeatedly to 'fix' the social care system and in a speech in late June, said the government was ‘finalising’ plans to solve the issue. 

However, voters remain sceptical. Just Group’s annual care report, published at the time, found only 34 per cent of Conservative voters thought the prime minister would be able to put a social care policy into practice in this Parliament.

The government was meant to publish a green paper in summer 2018 but has so far failed to do so.

Meanwhile the industry has come up with a number of suggestions including a Care Isa and Care pension but so far nothing seems to have been picked up by government.

amy.austin@ft.com

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