From medieval conmen persuading people to hand over hard cash for worthless ‘holy relics’, to Charles Ponzi promising amazing returns on the back of earlier victims’ money, fraudsters have always been with us and probably always will be. While this is all too true, we can make life a lot tougher for fraudsters – but we need to move rather faster than we have done to date. Continue reading “Pension scams: not quite there yet”
On 3 February Age UK hosted a symposium in London for the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Ageing, on the impact of ageing and cognitive impairment on the financial services industry. Jane Vass, Head of Public Policy at Age UK reflects on the event.
In Japan, over 4 million people are living with dementia – the equivalent to the population of Ireland, while in the UK people aged 60+ make up a quarter of Barclays Bank’s active customers. These statistics, highlighted by Professor Nakatani of Keio University and Steven Cooper of Barclays Bank, explain why the Global Agenda Council on Ageing has launched a series of events to address the links between brain health and managing our money. Continue reading “Brain ageing – understanding the implications for financial services”
Today, we launched our Agenda for Later Life 2015 report, Age UK’s annual assessment of how public policy is meeting the needs of older people. Here, Jane Vass, Head of Public Policy, discuss the findings of the report in light of the upcoming Spending Review.
In the run up to what is likely to be one of the most challenging Spending Reviewsof recent times, Agenda for Later Life, Age UK’s annual audit of how public policy is meeting the needs of our ageing population, highlights that older people are increasingly being thrown back on their own resources, as the public services on which they rely are being scaled back or withdrawn.
Each year, Age UK stands back and takes an overview of how society is meeting the needs of people in later life and sets out our agenda for public policy in the year ahead. In our Agenda for Later Life 2013 report we track changes in a range of key areas including money matters, work and learning and health and social care.
Public attitudes, policies and the economy all impact on people’s experiences of ageing. This year, as the economy bumps along the bottom, it would be all too easy to concentrate on the challenges we face. However, we strongly believe in the need to focus on the opportunities as well.
The Committee, chaired by Lord Filkin, called the nation ‘woefully unprepared’ for the changes ahead and recommended a number of actions for all of us. The Government is challenged to set out its vision for public services in an ageing society in a White Paper.
In particular, the report rightly recognises the increased strain on health and social care and calls for greater integration and much more focus on prevention, early diagnosis and managing long-term conditions, with patients fully engaged in decision-making. Age UK agrees. Continue reading “Ready for ageing?”
Following statements from the Chancellor prior to the budget, it seemed that older people were due to benefit from significant changes to the future funding structures of social care and pensions. However,following the Chancellor’s statement there is little new to celebrate.
The main point of interest for pensioners was confirmation that the implementation of the cap on social care costs (the ‘Dilnot’ reforms) and the introduction of the single-tier state pension will both be brought forward to 2016-17. From April 2016, there will be a cap of £72,000 on the costs of care, and the upper threshold limit for the residential care means test will be increased to £118,000.
Whilst we welcome the earlier implementation of the care costs cap and the higher upper means test threshold from April 2016, this will do nothing to help the 800,000 older people who need help with everyday tasks but receive no formal state support. Since 2010/11, in real terms £700 million has been cut from local authority spending on social care. Although the Government has provided additional investment for social care over the course of this parliament, it has not been enough to halt the downwards spiral in care funding. As a result, 85 per cent of local authorities now provide care only to people with substantial or critical needs. Continue reading “Budget 2013: did the Chancellor deliver for older people?”