Govt backs signposting to equity release within financial guidance

The government has shown support for the elderly being signposted to equity release as one of their finance options.

Responding to the second report of 2017-19 of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee inquiry into housing for older people, the government said the new single financial guidance body should include information on equity release.

The new guidance organisation will merge the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise into a single financial guidance provider.

It will be chaired by ex-Financial Services Authority chief executive Hector Sants.

In its response published today to the earlier inquiry on housing for the elderly, the government laid out how it believes the guidance body should function with regard to property ownership: The single financial guidance body’s role is to ensure that members of the public have access to the relevant guidance that allows them to be informed and educated about how to manage their money well and avoid falling into problem debt.

Whilst the body will not offer financial advice, it will be able to help people understand when professional financial advice could be useful and how to access it. It will signpost consumers to information on all money matters, including mortgages and equity release, shared ownership and shared equity, and on re-investing the proceeds of sales,” it states.

Commenting on the response Equity Release Council chairman, David Burrowes, says: “This recommendation amounts to a clear vote of confidence from government that equity release plays a key role in later life planning conversations alongside other forms of housing finance.

“The council has long championed the view that the option to unlock some of their housing wealth should be on every older homeowner’s checklist to consider, and the wide range of equity release products today can suit a similarly wide range of personal needs,” he says.

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