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Eadon calls for holistic equity-release approach

Former Personal Finance Society chief executive Tim Eadon has attacked the sales focus of advisers in the equity-release sector and called for more to offer holistic retirement planning.

Eadon last week launched an IFA firm called Better Retirement which is a retirement planning service focused on equity release. He says it is the first adviser firm specialising in equity release to be granted chartered status by the Chartered Insurance Institute and is a member of the Society of Later Life Advisers.

He says: “When it came to the retail distribution review, the regulator should have looked at the equity-release sector before the IFA sector when they began their investigation because I really do believe the problems surrounding advice, qualifications and remuneration are more pronounced here.

“I believe you cannot advise on equity release without understanding the whole retirement planning sector. If a client comes to us, all retirement products will rank alongside equity release as a complete retirement solution.”

Eadon says the equity-release sector needs to move forward and should be concentrating on complete advice, not just sales.

“The sector needs changing. We are concentrating on making equity release at the centre of the whole, holistic retirement planning arena. My background proves I am an advocate of professionalism and I think equity release has some way to go in that sense,” he says.

Better Retirement aims to offer a fee-based service and will rebate commission, meaning some clients will pay nothing for the advice they receive.

Safe Home Income Plans director general Andrea Rozario agrees that equity release needs to play a more central role in retirement planning.

She says: “The publication of our white paper should provider consensus on the steps needed to ensure equity release takes its place as an integral part of mainstream retirement funding.”