The Actuarial Profession, Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ, 16:30, 26 February 2008

The future funding of long-term care for older people is one of the biggest public policy challenges confronting the UK Government.

This challenge has been brought on by an urgent need to increase spending on long-term care to raise standards, as well as demographic change, which will see demand for care steadily rising in coming decades.

Debate around these issues has usually focused on some form of state-funded universal free long-term care for older people, so that the risk of needing long-term care is shared across the whole population, with every individual insured up to a minimum level of provision.

Within such a model, there has always been a tension around wealthier older people with sufficient means to buy into some form of long-term care insurance, whether publicly or privately organised, becoming entitled to free care paid for by taxpayers.

However, in recent years, house price inflation has seen the wealth of older cohorts increase dramatically, while younger cohorts have conversely become one of the most indebted generations in history. The tension within the model of state-funded universal free care has therefore been amplified enormously.

This debate addressed the following questions:

  • Can models of universal free long-term care for older people paid for by the state still be described as 'fair'?
  • If the fairness of such models has been undermined by changes in patterns of wealth across the generations, what new models of long-term care funding are available?
  • Is it possible to overcome these issues without losing the best aspects of universal free care, such as guaranteed minimum levels of provision?

Agenda from the event:

16.00 - 16.30
Registration and tea
16.30 - 16.40
Welcome and introduction:

  • Stewart Ritchie, President of the Faculty of Actuaries
  • Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive, ILC-UK

16.40 - 17.20
Presentation by James Lloyd, Head of Policy & Research, ILC-UK
17.20 - 17.35
Panel Response:

  • Professor Ruth Hancock, School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia
  • Nicholas Barr, Professor of Public Economics, London School of Economics

17.35 - 18.25
6.25 - 18.30
Close by Baroness Sally Greengross, ILC-UK

This event was free and open to all; however, registration was required.