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No one-size-fits-all solution for social care funding

The government should consider multiple funding solutions to address the social care crisis given the diverse needs and circumstances of those requiring care both now and in the future. That’s according to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) briefing ‘The State of Play’.This is the first in a five-part series of social care policy briefings being published to inform the debate ahead of the government’s green paper due out this autumn.

Jules Constantinou, IFoA President and member of the Government’s Green Paper Expert Panel, said:

“Mounting pressure on the social care system is well known but attempts at reform over the past couple of decades have failed to provide sustainable solutions. The ageing population continues to place unprecedented strain on demand and funding for social care. We will see more people needing greater support from the system for a longer period of time, therefore we want to see the government seize this opportunity to fundamentally reform social care, by fixing today’s problems and future proofing the system.

“I believe the actuarial profession is well-placed to offer a unique perspective on potential, long-term funding solutions. Actuaries have a history of quantifying and managing long-term risk and assessing mortality and morbidity. Given that reform will need to address both current care needs and potential future needs for the working population, we want to emphasise that there is no one-size-fits all solution for social care funding.”

The social care crisis is exacerbated by a lack of public understanding around who is responsible for meeting the costs of care. A health service which is free at the point of use is not mirrored in the social care system. For many people, it’s not clear when funding will be met by the state and when the individual will be expected to bear the cost.

Jules Constantinou, continued: 

“There needs to be more concerted effort to raise public knowledge about the way social care funding operates and to encourage individuals who can self-fund to make necessary provisions ahead of time. As part of this national conversation, we need to debate how the system can be funded in a way that is fair. The ageing population will result in a shrinking tax base over the coming decades. When considering how to plug that funding gap, we would caution the government against asking the younger generations to bear a disproportionate amount of the costs for supporting future older generations.”

The full series of policy briefings will be published over the coming months and will cover how means testing could be made fairer, potential funding solutions, the use of financial products and perspectives from other parts of the world.

~ENDS~

Contact:
Sonia Sequeira, Media Relations Manager
Tel: 07525 592 198
Email: sonia.sequeira@actuaries.org.uk

Notes to Editor

  1. Briefing Paper 1: ‘State of Play’, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Social Care Briefing Series. November 2018

About the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is a royal chartered, not-for-profit, professional body.

Research undertaken by the IFoA is not commercial.  As a learned society, research helps us to fulfil our royal charter requirements to further actuarial science and serve the public interest. 

Actuaries provide commercial, financial and prudential advice on the management of a business’s assets and liabilities, especially where long term management and planning are critical to the success of any business venture. They also advise individuals, and advise on social and public interest issues.

Members of the IFoA have a statutory role in the supervision of pension funds and life insurance companies. They also have a statutory role to provide actuarial opinions for managing agents at Lloyd’s.

Members are governed by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. A rigorous examination system is supported by a programme of continuing professional development and a professional code of conduct supports high standards reflecting the significant role of actuaries in society.

The IFoA is available to provide independent expert comment to the media on a range of actuarial- related issues, including enterprise risk management, finance and investment, general insurance, health and care, life assurance, mortality, and pensions.