Age UK establishes commission on financial services

We are “woefully underprepared” for our ageing society. That was the conclusion of the House of Lords Select Committee chaired by Lord Filkin earlier in the year.

Central to that is the fact that people just aren’t saving enough for retirement and their later life.   New polling Age UK commissioned found that just under a quarter of people aged 50-64  –  those rapidly approaching state pension age  –  think there’s no point  saving.  Worryingly, that’s not because the majority have

Tom Wright, Chief Executive of Age UK and Co-Chair of the Financial Services Commission

Tom Wright, Chief Executive of Age UK and Co-Chair of the Financial Services Commission

already made provision for their future.  More than a quarter said they were worried about having enough to live on. Only 15 per cent thought they had saved enough already.

We also frequently hear from older people about the problems they face with money matters, and the lack of solutions that really work for older people. While auto-enrolment is a massive step forward, it will not have time to reap its full benefits for people close to retirement.

That’s why we’re launching the Financial Services Commission – which will be co-chaired by Tom Wright CEO of Age UK and Dr Alexander Scott of the Chartered Insurance Institute. Launching on December 5th, it will be take the form of a series of three summits in which we will work with key industry leaders and consumer experts to examine how to improve the “financial resilience” of older people – their ability to weather the challenges that might lie ahead. It will culminate in June next year with the publication of a roadmap of actions that regulators, government and industry need to take to help keep future and current pensioners financially resilient.

We have chosen to focus on resilience because we think it’s an important indicator of whether people will thrive in later life.  As we enter our later years, it is not our finances alone, but our accumulated health, social and financial resources that are crucial to our standard of living and well-being and our ability to withstand shocks and difficulties which can derail plans over-night.

Our rapidly ageing population makes this among today’s most pressing issues. By 2025 every fifth person in the UK will be aged 65 and over. This increased longevity is absolutely to be celebrated but every part of society needs to adjust.  It’s also a huge opportunity for those in the financial services industry who can provide products and services that really work for older people and enable them to become and remain resilient.

The Commission will focus on three key later life stages with the first summit concentrating on 50-64 year olds and whether it is too late to save. This will be followed by the second in February which will focus on how the recently retired can best maximise their income and in March by the third summit which will look at how those in later older age – the fastest growing segment of our population – can stay financially included.

We are confident that by bringing together industry leaders, regulators and experts on the needs and aspirations of older people, the Financial Services Commission will be able to come up with some tangible ways forward to help  older people to remain financially secure, plus identify some new markets and products for the financial services industry.

 Read more about the Financial Services Commission or contact us at financialservicescomission@ageuk.org.uk

2 responses to “Age UK establishes commission on financial services

  1. The problem about finance now is my generation. I am 56 born 1957. I started work 1974 and was in full employment until 2004. Trouble is despite buying my home in 1982 I still have a mortgage. The massive failure of Scottish Endowments ment that my wife and I have had to mortgage. Any excuse is found not to employ people in their 50’s. The older generation have to work for ever the young want jobs. The next generation of oap’s (if the ever become oap’s) and that have worked are in dire straits
    I am unemployed without benefits. Why? because.my wife work and I paid into a private pension. Savings swallowed up by low interest rates and the need to pay bills. For us the present is bleak and we have no faith in the future. I have no one to vote for. Not one political party in any way represents those of us that have worked hard and lost so much.
    There is nothing left for us to give the pot is dry. There will not be a state pension for me or my wife I am sure. The politicians are already after our private pensions.
    The generation 1956-1971 has lost most because we are between two baby booms and have no voting power. No one wants to debate what happens to us too small a group to make it worth while. A generation made redundant to feed the young and let the old work forever. Trouble is a big whole has now appeared where people in their 50’s have no spending power because debts that should have been paid have not been paid. The money taken by banks and Governments using this generation as a money pot. The pot is dry we can no longer afford the welfare state or foreign aid. So where now. When are the politicians going to admit for the last 70 years they have got it wrong. Very wrong. The system is so abused now it cannot be sustained.

  2. I was made redundant at 54; worked for an American giant. I was a very successful professional and while this was a “voluntary” redundancy program and I dragged it out until the 11th hour – just didn’t want to take redundancy before having another job confirmed – but in the end felt like a pariah; I was made to feel so uncomfortable that literally at the last hour I filled in my redundancy form when it was strongly hinted that I was leaving anyway & would be wise to take redundancy benefits. It was clear to me that I was a target because of my salary level as I was in the top 15% bracket.

    Despite intensive effort over a 2-yr period didn’t get anywhere in job hunting. After 2-yrs on prospective employer’s agent privately said I have been out of the market for too long. So 6-yrs later I am in forced retirement.

    I have savings but every so often break out in cold sweat because just don’t know if I have enough.

    Market forces dictated all of this but the one thing I really resent now is how with each successive government the tax regime has become so convoluted. And, how complex the financial services sector has become with ever increasing array of products.

    I would like the government to really focus on simplifying & minimising tax for the over 50s so that they have good financial bedrock. With pressures on social benefits & NHS, I am really anxious about my later years.

    The pension products including the recent draw-down invention and just too complex and have given Financial Sector a freehand. GAD calculations for example – been told by a broker that have to get revised every 3 years minimum and just for this calculation £195+VAT!!!
    Ideal would be to free up ISAs for the over 50s and simplify draw-downs such that financial service sector are reigned in a little in terms of myriad of fees they charge.

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