SHIP wants your views

Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) is calling on advisers to add their voices to a campaign to clarify the relationship between equity release and state benefits. SHIP has today launched a questionnaire to gather as much information as possible from advisers on your opinions and experiences.

SHIP is concerned that at the moment the DWP’s advice is inconsistent and confusing for both advisers and customers. The aim of this campaign is to clarify exactly what impact equity release may have on state benefits and to make sure that the regulator and Government are aware of the issues facing advisers and customers. SHIP wants to see clear, definitive guidelines published for all, including DWP staff, advisers and the FSA.

The results will be analysed by a working group led by SHIP, Baroness Hollis, and other key stakeholders. The SHIP campaign has support from all of its members as well as intermediaries, the Equity Release Solicitors Alliance and other interested parties.

SHIP would really like to know how advisers and their clients feel about state benefits and the effect equity release might have on their eligibility to certain benefits. The questionnaire, developed in conjunction with a specialist software provider, can be found at:

All advisers taking part will be entered into a prize draw to win £100. The questionnaire will be live until the end of May and the results will be announced in mid-June.

Commenting, director general of SHIP, Andrea Rozario, said: “The Government is in a state of change and older customers must not be side-lined. We have launched this campaign to provide some clarity and guidance to both advisers and their customers. Our aim is to make the process transparent and accessible for everyone.”