0 Equity Release is Key Source of Retirement Funding say Politicians By The Bower Team / In Equity Release A key source of retirement funding could come from Equity Release says a well known All Party Parliamentary Group. The group, led by Baroness Hollis of Heigham, suggested that the Government should provide better support to an industry that could offer a solution to the financial issues caused by a progressively ageing population. With additional Government backing, says the group, the equity release process could appear safer and more understandable for the nation’s older population. A Need to Maintain a High Standard of Equity Release Advice Many key issues were identified that required Government attention, including an urgent need for initiatives to increase public trust in equity release; a need to ensure and maintain a high standard of advice to support the growing demand and a requirement for the Government increase their support for the industry as a key retirement funding solution. Equity Release, whereby tax free cash is unlocked from the value of a property via lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans, can provide homeowners with an enhanced lifestyle in retirement by supplementing pension income. It can be used for anything from taking regular holidays to funding home improvements or moving home, although its main focus in this recent debate is as a possible way to ease the UK pensions crisis. Only One Third of Savers Expects to Cover Retirement Expenses A recent National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) survey showed that just a third of those saving for retirement expected to have enough money to cover their living expenses as pensioners. Andrea Rozario, Director General of equity release body Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP), said: “It is gratifying to see housing equity taking its place in the mainstream retirement funding canon. Last night’s all party parliamentary group produced some excellent debate, recognising the financial challenges that Britain’s older generations face.’ ‘Trust will come with Education’ Geoff Charles of award winning Equity Release specialists Bower says, ‘I totally support the promotion of higher advice standards within our industry and agree more needs to be done to educate homeowners about their retirement funding options. Trust will come with education; this we have found when giving talks to local community groups about the benefits of Lifetime Mortgages and Home Reversion Plans.’ Equity release may involve a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised illustration. Bower is an FCA regulated independent financial advice company that offers specialist advice on equity release throughout the south of England. For more information e-mail [email protected] or call 0800 411 8668. Bower offers a no obligation initial consultation to homeowners considering Equity Release.