Covid’s Effect on Retirement Plans: How Equity Release Could Be a Solution

As the country continues its attempt to get back to normality, the true financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic for those in later life is beginning to bear through.
We’ve already seen the Government’s reaction to increase National Insurance contributions and introduce a new Health and Social Care Levy in an attempt to rescue the NHS and social care sector. However, it’s not until now that we’re seeing the real-world impact the last 18 months is going to have on our future

A big change to retirement plans

New research from equity release specialists, Key, has found that the pandemic not only impacted our day-to-day lives in the shorter term, but it’s also changing retirement plans for thousands. 
It discovered that almost one in four retiring this year are giving up work earlier than planned, with three in five stating the pandemic has impacted their retirement planning1
Those figures are set to rise again as businesses come to terms with the furlough scheme ending - with more than a quarter of those receiving support over 50 - leaving many in later life with uncertainty over their financial futures. 
Add to that the temporary scrapping of the pension triple lock for 2022-23, due to an estimated 8% rise in earnings from May to July 2021 as people returned to work, and it’s clear to see why so many are now unable to live the later life they had initially planned. 

How do we tackle the change?

Given the scale of the impact, it may not be surprising if some of your clients have felt a significant impact on their later life in some way.
And if they’re concerned about their financial outlook, equity release may be able to help. 
In 2021, equity release has helped thousands of over-55s secure a more comfortable later life across the UK. 
It’s helped more than a third of equity release customers repay their existing debts, and allowed the same number to pay off an existing mortgage2
More than 1 in 10 equity release customers have passed on some or all of the tax-free money they unlock from the value of their property as a financial gift to loved ones. While over 1 in 7 have used equity release to make some much-wanted or needed home improvements2

Given over a quarter of over-55s state their general financial situation has worsened since the start of the pandemic, and 43% of part-time workers over 55 say they’ve seen their financial circumstances worsen3, many may see equity release as a possible solution.
By taking out a plan, those in later life could relieve financial stresses while securing a more comfortable retirement. And it doesn’t have to be complicated either.

Using an equity release referral service

Through an equity release referral service, such as Key Partnerships, you’re able to provide your clients with another financial option that could help support their needs while remaining focussed on your core business.
Instead of spending your valuable resources developing your own advice proposition, an equity release referral partner can do it on your behalf, leaving you with no compliance responsibility for the advice given or needing to stay up-to-date with a rapidly expanding market.
In today’s equity release market, there are now more than 800 plans available – a 2388% rise compared to a decade ago4 – as well as a plethora of flexible features, including inheritance protection to help protect a percentage of your client’s future estate, porting, so they can move home in the future without fee, as well as partial capital repayments if your client wishes to reduce the overall size of their loan.
Of course, a key part of the referral service is advice, as it’s a regulatory requirement for anyone in the UK to receive advice before taking an equity release plan. By choosing Key Partnerships as your referrer, your client is guaranteed fully qualified, expert equity release advice with no pressure to proceed, so you can rest assured they’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether to go ahead or not in their own time.

Who can benefit from equity release?

As we’ve already touched on, many over-55s with a variety of wants and needs have already benefitted from equity release. But if you’re unsure on whether it may be suitable for your clients, we can help you understand who would benefit from it most as well as help you reach out to them.
On top of supporting your clients and potentially helping them transform their later life, by choosing Key Partnerships as your equity release referral partner, you could earn £1,766 per completed case, which was our average referral payment in 2020.

1 Key’s research
2 Key’s H1 Market Monitor 2021
3 Equity release lender, more2life, and economics consultancy, Cebr’s, research
4 Market growth