Commenting on IFS Director Paul Johnson’s lecture on the challenges of an ageing population, George McNamara, Director of Policy & Influencing, Independent Age, said:

“It’s clear that a reality check is needed for those in charge of our social care and pension systems. We’re facing a pension time bomb of our own making, which will erode the basic quality of life for the growing numbers of older people in the future.

“These are people who have played by the rules, contributed to society and worked all their lives – only to be let down by a system that fails to protect those most in need.

“The death of the defined benefit pension, along with lower savings, is forcing more people to make choices that no one should have to make later in life. The government’s persistent failure to reform social care has already resulted in thousands of pensioners having to sacrifice their savings, go into debt or sell their home - just to pay for their care.

“While the IFS has called for the government to provide a social insurance provision for social care, we believe that making personal care free at the point of use is the most effective, affordable, and equitable way to meet the challenges of an ageing population. Introducing free personal care would allow people to live independent lives at home for longer, at a similar cost to the current poorly-targeted, capped-cost model.”

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