more 2 life urges govt to give greater support to retirement lending market

Ahead of the autumn budget, equity release lender more 2 life has revealed its ‘wish list’, calling on Chancellor Philip Hammond to provide greater support to the retirement lending sector.

The lender highlighted that the UK is currently facing a retirement funding crisis, along with challenges around meeting later life costs such as care, and has therefore urged the government to raise awareness among retirees of the potential uses of housing equity.

Recently government hinted at the inclusion of equity release information as part of its new Single Financial Guidance Body offering, with more 2 life calling for “careful management” of this implementation, to ensure older homeowners are provided with sufficient guidance to make informed choices.

Also part of its ‘wish list’, more 2 life is calling for greater investment in affordable housing suitable for older homeowners that may be wishing to downsize, with research from the lender last year revealing that 53 per cent of retirees had not downsized due to a lack of suitable housing.

Furthermore, more 2 life is urging government to review stamp duty for last-time buyers, as its research found that 20 per cent of retirees avoiding downsizing due to high stamp duty costs.

Commenting, more 2 life CEO Dave Harris said: “Within the next 50 years, more than a quarter of the UK’s entire population is projected to be over 65 years old. They will be facing challenges such as how to pay for care costs and how to maintain their standard of living in later life with an often limited retirement savings pot.

“To prevent increasing numbers from being forced to falling back onto state support, people must consider how housing equity can be used to meet these costs. The fact that the Single Financial Guidance body will reference equity release is certainly a step towards this goal but further education is needed.

“Education alone may not be enough and we need to consider other steps such as a commitment to increase the number of affordable housing options for older people and an end to stamp duty for last-time buyers. Not only would this encourage movement within the housing market but it would allow older borrowers to access some of the wealth tied up in their properties to meet their own retirement costs or provide a financial boost for the younger generation.”

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