Monday 7 January 2013

As David Cameron and Nick Clegg outline their Mid-Term Review with a focus on care for the elderly, Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga, comments:



“The principles outlined in the Coalition’s Mid Term Review sound good but where is any of the detail? We certainly agree that we need to help people with ever growing care costs by placing a cap on care but we have no indication of how this will be implemented or how much the cap may be.

“While we also agree that we need a fairer state pension system with less means-testing in order to encourage saving, there was no commitment on how this will be achieved.

“Overall, it was a disappointing review from the Coalition with no detailed suggestions of how the issues facing the UK’s ageing population will be addressed. We eagerly await further proposals on social care funding and on implementing a fairer and simpler state pension as these issues are so important to the UK’s 12.85 million pensioners and their families.”

Sorting social care funding is a priority for care white paper:
“We’ve always argued that a fair partnership between state help and individuals paying for their own care costs is essential but if a £75,000 cap were introduced (as has been previously suggested) it will put most of the burden on families paying for their own care. The cost of insuring that sum will be so high that it is unlikely to be an option and most people will have to sell their homes anyway – especially as this cap may exclude accommodation costs which could be an extra £10,000 a year.

“As individuals will still have to fund a large portion of their care costs themselves we need to help people put money aside in case they need it. We hope to see further proposals will outline incentives for saving for care. For example, a special ISA allowance or Family Care Savings Plans for families to use to save up for care needs, free of tax, if the money is used for care for themselves or a loved one.”

Radical reform of state pension with flat rate state should be fairer to all:
“Radical reform of our complex pension system is long overdue - at the moment the UK State pension system relies far too much on mass means-testing which penalises those who tried to save for their retirement. If we want people to have good private incomes we must make it worthwhile to save.

"We would welcome the prospect of an adequate flat rate state pension that would lift most people above means-testing but we still need to see the details of the new framework and how the Government plans to implement a fairer and simpler system.

“The UK state pension system is the by far the most complex in the world and the basic state pension is one of the lowest. Almost no one understands it and it fails to provide an adequate pension income for millions of Britain's pensioners, particular women and low earners.”


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