New Survey Shows Lack Of Consensus On Later Life Policies
A new survey shows that one in four people would accept higher taxes to fund later life care but the majority have no clue what policies would help, suggesting a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t feasible.
Leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell and YouGov surveyed over 40s on their attitudes towards later life planning during the pandemic. When respondents were asked about the UK government introducing later life care policies that would suit their own personal circumstances, there was no clear consensus on an option.
One in four (24 per cent) chose higher taxes for all to subsidise care in the future, while 23 per cent favoured an auto-enrolment scheme similar to pensions - but as many as 28 per cent of respondents didn’t know what sort of policy might help them save for later life care.
Expert Opinion“It’s disappointing but unsurprising to see that over a quarter of those surveyed aren’t sure what kind of policy might suit their own personal needs for later life planning.
“Later life care is increasingly expensive, easily running into the tens of thousands each year – with many facing the prospect of selling family homes to pay for it. Later life planning is one of the most important things to plan for, yet it’s almost completely forgotten about – or not even considered by the public.
“There seems to be a vague understanding of what could work based on past policies – higher taxes and auto-enrolment schemes would of course be beneficial – but what’s really clear is how we need a blended approach from the government that helps all age groups based on their own circumstances.
“The best outcome for any reform to social care would be a mix of policies for the young and old so that nobody is left behind when they reach retirement – and for these to be introduced sooner rather than later.” Kelly Greig - Partner
When asked generally about the introduction of policies by the UK government to make paying for later life care, there was an even split across the board: 27 per cent wanted higher taxes for all, 29 per cent chose an auto-enrolment scheme similar to pensions and 32 per cent said they would like a Government-subsidised insurance scheme.
A quarter (26 per cent) of respondents said they didn’t know what sort of policy should be put in place at all, suggesting there is no clear answer on how later life care should be handled both personally and by the Government.
Social care reform has long been an issue, with a green paper promised back in 2017 still waiting to be delivered. A February 2020 report from Irwin Mitchell and Cebr placed the tipping point for the social care sector’s collapse to be 2029 – just eight years away.
Expert Opinion“Once again we’re shown evidence that there is a real range of responses on how later life care should be handled in the future.
“It’s interesting to see that almost a third said a Government-subsidised insurance scheme would be preferable and suggests many would be far more amenable to this proposal than previously thought. Worryingly, over a quarter said they didn’t know what sort of policy might work – highlighting how later life planning repeatedly slips under the radar until it’s too late.
“It would be sensible to propose a strategy for younger adults focusing on investing and auto-enrolment, while those approaching retirement age would benefit from higher taxes and a revamped social care approach from the Government.
“While there’s continued to be lots of talk around reforming social care, now more than ever we need a national plan to get ahead of the impending social care crisis we’re walking into as a nation.” Richard Potts - CEO of IM Asset Management Ltd