Equity release and state aid: More clarification needed

Equity release and state aid: More clarification needed

16 April 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

The equity release trade body SHIP is calling on financial advisers, to communicate ideas from themselves and their clients about the best way to bring clarity to the relationship between equity release and state aid.

SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) believes more can be done to clarify how state benefits payments can be affected by taking out an equity release plan, and has launched a questionnaire to gather opinions and experiences from equity release advisers.

The information and advice available from the Department of Work and Pensions is "inconsistent and confusing", says SHIP, so more needs to be done to explain the impact that releasing value from their homes can have on retirees' income from benefits, and to make the Government aware of these issues.

SHIP would like to see a definaitive set of guidelines in place, which would be useful for DWP staff, as well as advisers, the FSA, and ultimately, homeowners who want to boost their retirement income by using their biggest asset – their home.

Commenting, Andrea Rozario, director general of SHIP, said: "The Government is in a state of change and older customers must not be side-lined. We have launched this campaign to provide some clarity and guidance to both advisers and their customers.

"Our aim is to make the process transparent and accessible for everyone."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd

Click here for quotes and advice about equity release to see if it's suitable for your circumstances