SOLLA News and Views

15 October 2018

SOLLA National Conference celebrates SOLLA’s 10 year Anniversary with a range of speakers considering Later Life matters and an announcement of a new Later Life Lending Standard

  • Conference took place on 9th October 2018 at Central Hall, Westminster, London
  • Speakers address real and pressing issues facing our aging population
  • Event Chaired by Lord Lipsey
  • Key speakers included: Jules Constantinou, Baroness Ros Altmann, Nadra Ahmed OBE (Chair of National Homes Association), Dr Yvonnr Braun (Director ABI) and David Burrowes (Chairman, Equity Release Council)

SOLLA Conf 2018

On Tuesday 9th October 2018 the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) welcomed over 160 of its accredited Later Life advisers and guests to its 2018 conference in central London. The event was opened and chaired by Lord Lipsey, Labour peer and Honorary President of SOLLA and Tish Hanifan, Founder and Joint Chair of SOLLA.

Jules Constantinou gave the Key Note Speech and highlighted the impact of our ageing population on the funding and provision of social care. He stressed that the problems around the sustainability of the care home sector would become even more significant as the number of 85+ is due to double and current care home bed provision would not meet demand.

The key role of the care home sector and the need to ensure its continued viability was highlighted again later in the day when Nadra Ahmed, Chair of the National Care Association, gave an impassioned speech emphasising for the need to both adequately fund social care and to recognise the skilled nature of the work carried out by care home staff.

The need for financial advisers to build on the FCA's work around vulnerability was highlighted by Dr Yvonne Braun of the ABI who emphasised that as many as 25 million people could be in this category.

David Burrowes then updated the delegates on the increasing role of equity release in helping older people fund their later life. He emphasised that he shared with SOLLA the view that raising advice standards in this area was key to ensuring positive consumer outcomes.

The final speech of the day came from Baroness Altmann. She shared her views around the options for funding social care as well as putting into perspective the importance of savings and pensions. In doing so she considered the role of state incentives in encouraging long term planning.

Jane Finnerty, Joint Chair of SOLLA commented: "We are delighted that throughout the conference today there was a wide recognition of the important role that SOLLA has played in the last 10 years in both raising and maintaining the standard of financial advice for older people." Finnerty continued "Baroness Altmann herself referred to SOLLA as The Gold Standard"

 All speakers emphasised the need to ensure that the highest standards of later life financial advice were available to people. The SOLLA Accreditation was clearly seen by all as a strong consumer benefit.

In her closing speech to the conference Tish Hanifan, Founder and Joint Chair highlighted this recognition of the role of SOLLA in increasing consumer confidence when considering taking financial advice. Tish commented: ‘So many people don’t know who to go to or who to trust and this can prevent them from taking advice that would greatly help them to make the right financial choices. In the last 10 years SOLLA has increasingly become the ‘Go To’ organisation for peace of mind ‘ She announced that SOLLA was extending its range of Later Life Standards by introducing a Later Life Lending Standard which would be available in early 2019.  Hanifan continued : ‘With so many older people having significant wealth tied up in their homes SOLLA wishes to encourage them to have the confidence to seek advice from financial advisers who have demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards in providing later life lending advice . We are delighted that so many providers and advisers have come forward to support this important initiative”