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The Age UK Equity Release Advice Service

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Interested to know how much cash you could release from your home?

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Or talk to an equity release specialist and book an appointment 03332 207 591* 03332 207 591*

The Age UK Equity Release Advice Service is provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited, and brought to you by Age UK Enterprises Limited. By using the calculator, you will be leaving the Age UK site.

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You've worked hard for your home. Now make it work hard for you with the Age UK Equity Release Advice Service, provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited.

Equity release allows you to free up some of the value of your home so you can achieve some of the things you want to, like giving gifts to family or easing those financial pressures – without the stress of having to sell up and move.

 Why should I consider equity release?

•    If you’ve found yourself property rich but cash poor then equity release could give you access to a tax-free lump sum that you can you use for almost anything you like – such as taking a holiday of a lifetime, making home improvements or helping children with a deposit for their first home.

•    What’s great is that you can do all this whilst continuing to live in the home you love. And if you’re worried about eroding any inheritance, whilst the value of your estate will go down, it is still possible to leave behind a legacy for loved ones.

•    There are two main types of equity release product, lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans. Neither of these plans require you to make regular payments. Lifetime Mortgages are a type of loan secured against your home and interest is also applied to this loan. Home Reversions plans don’t have any interest applied, but they do involve selling all or part of your home to a home reversion provider for a cash lump sum. For both type of product, the provider receives their money when your house is sold, either when you pass away or move into permanent long-term care.

† By using the calcaluator you'll be leaving the Age UK site.

Where can I get trusted, expert advice about equity release?

Deciding if equity release is right for you is a big decision. Your home is likely to be your biggest asset so you’ll want to make sure you receive the best possible advice. That's why we have teamed up with one of the UK’s specialist equity release advisers, Just Retirement Solutions, to provide the Age UK Equity Release Advice Service.

 

Using the Age UK Equity Release Advice Service means you’ll receive:

• Expert advice and support from a qualified adviser. This can take place over the phone, or in the comfort of your own home – you choose. They’ll explain the different types of equity release plans available, the pros and cons of each and the costs involved.
• A personalised service. Your adviser will discuss your individual goals and needs with you so that you get the right advice for your circumstances. If equity release isn’t right for you, your adviser will tell you why and aim to help you find another way to free up some cash.
• A free state benefits check to make sure you’re not missing out on any that you’re entitled to. Your adviser will also tell you whether taking out equity release will adversely affect your entitlement to means-tested state benefits.
• Reassurance that neither you nor your loved ones will ever owe more than the value of your home once it’s sold.
• No obligation advice. If equity release isn’t right for you, there is nothing to pay. You’ll only be charged an advice and arrangement fee of £675 if you take out a plan Just Retirement Solutions recommend.


If you’re aged 55+ and a UK homeowner (with a property worth at least £70,000), you could be eligible for equity release. Minimum age and property values vary between providers.

Want to find out more?
Call 03332 207 591* and speak to a trained specialist today

Why choose us

There are many reasons why people in the UK consider equity release. Whatever your reason, it is essential that you seek professional advice.

Professional advice
With the Age UK Equity Release Advice Service, provided by Just Retirement Solutions, you will speak to a trained specialist on a dedicated support line. They will review your eligibility, give you all the information you need and book an appointment for you to talk to an adviser either over the phone or in your home.

Involvement of friends and family
Your specialist, trained adviser will look for the best option for you, taking the time to fully understand your needs. As equity release will reduce the value of your estate and family are very important, your adviser will encourage you to involve them (or a close friend) in the decision-making process.

No-obligation advice service
The advice service goes at your pace, with no pressure to buy any of the products recommended to you. Plus, you have peace of mind that if for any reason equity release isn’t for you, your adviser will tell you – clearly stating the reasons why – and aim to identify other options for you.

Access to products with flexibility and choice
Some of the products Just Retirement Solutions Limited recommend have the choice to add Inheritance Protection or allow you to take a small sum from the overall loan available.

Free State benefits check
As equity release affects your entitlement to means-tested State benefits, you’ll receive a free eligibility check to make sure you’re not missing out on any other benefits you’re entitled to.

Help and support
If you then decide to proceed with your application, you will get all the help and support you need. When they can, your adviser will complete the forms with you and at all stages will work within specific timeframes. This means you know exactly what to expect at all times.

Alternative options
Equity release isn’t right for everyone, and other types of loan may cost less in the long-term. Your adviser will review your circumstances and look at alternative options such as downsizing or renting out a spare room.

FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Age UK Equity Release Advice Service. If you have any further questions, please call: 03332 207 591*

Q. What can the equity released be used for?
Q. Are there any limits on what I can release?
Q. What is a lifetime mortgage?
Q. What is a home reversion plan?
Q. What happens if I want to move house?
Q. What happens to my partner if I die?
Q. Can I get into negative equity?
Q. What happens if I want to end the plan early?
Q. What fees will I typically need to pay?
Q. What about the risk involved with equity release?
Q. How long will it take to get cash? 

Q. What can the equity released be used for?

A. Equity release can be used for almost anything you choose including home improvements, easing money worries, providing gifts to family, taking a holiday of a lifetime or improving your retirement funds.

Q. Are there any limits on what I can release?

A. Yes. Factors such as your age and the value of your home will determine the amount of money you can release.

Q. What is a lifetime mortgage?

A. A lifetime mortgage is a type of loan, which is secured against your home. It allows you to release a cash sum (or, with some products, take smaller amounts as and when you need them) from the value of your property. You continue to own your own home and benefit from any increase in its value.

With most lifetime mortgages, there are usually no regular payments to make and nothing has to be paid back until the last mortgage holder living in the property dies or moves into permanent long-term care. The amount you owe will continue to grow as interest is applied over the long term.

There may be an early repayment charge if you decided to repay your lifetime mortgage early.

One of Just Retirement Solutions' advisers can explain this in detail.

Q. What is a home reversion plan?

A. Home reversion plans involve selling all or part of your home to a home reversion provider in return for a cash lump sum. While all or part of your home will belong to someone else, you can remain living there for the rest of your life rent free. A home reversion plan is not a loan and so there is no interest to pay either. However, if your property increases in value, you will only benefit from the increase in value of the proportion you still own. When you die or move into permanent long-term care, the property will be sold and the reversion company receives its share of the proceeds.

You should be aware aware that should you take out a plan you will normally receive less for the part of your home you sell, than the current market value of your home – this is because the reversion company who buys your home cannot sell it until you die or move into permanent long-term care so need to protect themselves against any potential loss in value.

One of Just Retirement Solutions' advisers can explain this in detail.

Q. What happens if I want to move house?

A. As long as the new home you wish to move to meets the acceptance criteria of your equity release provider, then you should be able to transfer your plan to a new property. In some circumstances, for example down-sizing to a smaller property, a part repayment of the equity released may be required.

Q. What happens to my partner if I die?

A. If the plan is in both your names then it will continue until the death of the last surviving person – allowing them to remain living there until they die or go into permanent long-term care. However, if your property and equity release plan is held in your name only, the property would have to be sold and your partner would have to find somewhere else to live (unless, for example, they were able to repay the equity release plan in full).

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Q. Can I get into negative equity?

A. No, not with the Age UK Equity Release Advice Service, provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited. If the amount required to repay your plan ends up being more than the eventual value of your property upon sale, most equity release providers cover the loss and do not have a claim upon any other assets in your estate. This is called a ‘no negative equity guarantee’ and is offered by all Equity Release Council members subject to you meeting your plan conditions. It applies to Lifetime Mortage products, where the loan is secured against your home.

Q. What happens if I want to end the plan early?

A. Equity release plans are long term commitments designed to be paid back only when you die or move permanently into long-term care. If you took out a lifetime mortgage and repaid prematurely there could be a substantial early repayment charge. Different equity release providers calculate these charges differently. The amount concerned will be detailed in the lifetime mortgage provider’s documentation. If you took out a Home Reversion Plan and decided to repay the plan early, you would need to buy back the share of the property sold to the reversion provider at the full current market value. This may be substantially more than you were paid for that share depending on house price movement

.Q. What fees will I typically need to pay?

A. If you decide to go ahead and buy a product recommended by Just Retirement Solutions, you will need to pay a fee of £675 for the advice and arranging the plan. There are other fees associated with equity release, these are: application fee; valuation fee; legal fee. Some of these fees can be added to the money being released. Your Just Retirement Solutions adviser will talk you through these in your appointment.

Q. What about the risk involved with equity release?

A. The risks will depend upon the type of equity release plan you choose. Consolidating existing debts using equity release could end up costing more in the long term, so you should think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your Just Retirement Solutions adviser will talk you through all of this and the risks involved in your appointment.

Q. How long will it take to get cash?

A. Each case is different but typically it should take up to 7 weeks. The breakdown of this is as follows:

Week 1 Get in touch via phone, email, or using the equity release calculator.

Weeks 2-4 At your first appointment you will meet with an adviser to discuss your needs. A detailed discussion with you about your circumstances is carried out, including any income you have and including State benefits (if applicable).

Weeks 4–7 At your second appointment with your adviser, they will present their recommendation, all your available options, costs and next steps. They will also be able to provide you with details, if applicable, of any means-tested State benefits you are entitled to receive. Only if equity release is suitable and you wish to proceed they’ll ask you to complete an application. This will be sent to your chosen provider and Just Retirement Solutions will regularly check on its progress. Once complete, your monies will be forwarded to you by your solicitor. Just Retirement Solutions will the follow up with you to make sure everything is okay.

Members of the Equity Release Council

The Age UK Equity Release Advice Service, provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited, only advises on equity release plans from providers who are signed up to the Equity Release Council’s Statement of Principles.

The Equity Release Council is an industry trade body that helps to ensure products are safe and accessible for consumers with a number of safeguards and guarantees in place for customers.

The Statement of Principles includes:

  • Customers have the right to remain in their property for life or until they need to move into permanent long-term care, provided the property remains their main residence and the terms and conditions of the contract are met.
  • Customers will be provided with a fair, simple and complete presentations and explanation of their equity release plan. This means that the benefits and limitations of the plan together with any obligations on the part of the customer are clearly set out in the literature. It should include all costs that the customer has to bear in setting up the plan as well as the tax implications, their position on moving house and the effects of changes in house values.
  • The customer’s legal work will always be performed by the solicitor of his or her choice. In all cases, prior to the completion of the plan the solicitor will be provided with full details of the plan, including the rights and obligations of both parties (the customer and product provider) under the contract. Both the customer and the solicitor will be required to sign a certificate confirming that these rights and obligations have been explained and that the customer wishes to enter into the plan. 
  • Customers have the right to move their plan to another suitable property, subject to the new property being acceptable to the product provider as continuing security for the equity release plan.
  • All equity release plans carry a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee. This means that when the property is sold, and agents and solicitors' fees have been paid, even if the amount left is not enough to repay the outstanding loan to the provider, neither the customer nor the estate will be liable to pay any more. 

Glossary

To help you understand the terms you will come across when considering equity release, we've put together a helpful glossary:

A

Accrued interest

The amount of interest that has accumulated on a plan over time.

Arrangement fee

A fee that you pay the lender to cover the cost of setting up the equity release plan. This may also be referred to as “Application fee” or “Set-up fee”. Your adviser may also charge you a fee (called an arrangement fee) to cover their costs of arranging the equity release plan for you.

Application fee
A fee that you pay to the equity release provider to cover the cost of setting up the equity release plan. This may also be referred to as “Arrangement fee” or “Set-up fee”.

B

Benchmark interest rate

This is an interest rate used by some providers in calculating an early repayment charge.

Building insurance

Insurance that covers physical damage to a building as opposed to its contents. Equity release plan holders are required to have adequate buildings insurance to the value of their property.

Benefits

You may be eligible to receive financial support from the government, such as Council Tax Benefit, if you are on a low income or have certain costs to meet because of your personal situation.

C

Cash advance

An amount of money advanced to a plan holder under the equity release plan. This can also be known as an "initial cash advance", if the lifetime mortgage has a drawdown facility available.

Cash facility

The amount of money available from a provider, from which the initial cash advance is taken.

D

Deeds

Legal papers that establish who owns a property and names anyone who has an interest in its value.

Drawdown

The process of taking an amount of money that has been made available from a pre-agreed cash facility. An initial cash advance is taken first, and then you can drawdown further money as and when you need it – until the pre-agreed cash facility is depleted. Interest is only charged on the drawdown amount you take.

Drawdown lifetime mortgage

A lifetime mortgage that allows a customer to draw down funds in stages as and when required. This means you only pay interest on the amount borrowed at any one time. A lifetime mortgage is a type of loan secured against the value of your home.

E

Early repayment charge

A fee applied by some mortgage companies should you choose to repay your mortgage early. This charge is only applicable in certain instances, such as when iterest rates fall, and will vary from provider to provider.

Equity

Equity is the value of your home minus any outstanding mortgage or other debts secured against it.

Equity release

An equity release plan allows you to release tax-free cash from your home in the form of a cash lump sum or regular drawdowns, usually with no monthly repayments to make.

Equity Release Council

An industry trade body that helps to ensure products are safe and accessible for consumers.

Estate

Includes your home, possessions and any savings or investments. Your estate is what is left to any beneficiaries, after any debt (such as credit card loans) and inheritance tax is paid off.

F

Financial adviser

A financial adviser provides financial advice based on an individual customer's needs. There are two types of financial advisers – ‘independent’ and ‘restricted’. The type of adviser will affect the advice you are given. Independent advisers can offer the full range of financial products and providers available. Restricted advisers focus on a limited selection of products and providers.

Financial Ombudsman Service

An independent and impartial complaints scheme which aims to settle disputes about financial products or services.

Fixed rate

All of the plans that Just Retirement Solutions Limited recommends have fixed rates, which means that the interest rates on the plan will never change throughout its term.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The UK's financial regulator set up by the government to regulate financial services and protect consumer rights.

H

Home reversion plan

A form of equity release, where the customer sells all or part of their home in return for a regular income, cash lump sum or both, and continues to live in their home for as long as they wish. When you die or move into permanent long-term care, the property will be sold and the reversion company receives its share of the proceeds.

I

Initital Cash advance

The amount advanced to plan holders at the start of an equity release plan.

Interest

The charge made by lenders on money you borrow fom them. Interest can be variable (goes up or down) or be fixed. The Equity Release Council Statement of Principles puts a 'cap' (upper limit) on variable interest rates - and this cap applies for the duration of the lifetime mortgage.

K

Key Facts Document (KFD)

Important information set out in a standard way, so you can compare services, products and costs.

Key Facts Illustration (KFI)

Important information about the financial product you are buying, describing key features and risks.

L

Lifetime mortgage

A loan secured on your home. Normally no repayments are made on the loan until the death of the last surviving policy holder or their move into permanent long-term care.

Loan to Value factor

The maximum amount that can be borrowed against a property based on the age of the youngest applicant and the property value.

Legal fees

The fee you pay to a solicitor for their services.

N

'No negative equity' guarantee

A guarantee to ensure you will never owe more than the value of your home.

O

Open market value

The value of the property should it be sold on the open market. For a sale to take place on the open market, it must not be a sudden or forced sale. There must be a willing seller and a willing buyer.

P

Portability

If you wish to move home you may be able to transfer your equity release plan to a new property if the new property is acceptable to the provider. If you transfer your lifetime mortgage to a new property, the provider may reduce your cash facility and you may need to repay some of the amount owed.

S
Secured

If you are a homeowner and you wish to borrow money for a large expense, lenders may let you borrow the money, using your home as security. This is the case with a Lifetime Mortgage, which is a type of loan secured against your home.

Set-up fee
A fee that you pay the lender to cover the cost of setting up the equity release plan. This may also be referred to as “Arrangement fee” or “Application fee”.

V

Valuation fee

A fee paid to a lender to cover the inspection of your property by an independent chartered surveyor.

Call to speak to a trained equity release specialist

03332 207 591* 03332 207 591*

Lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.

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Find out more about the Age UK Equity Release Advice Service

**Not all Age UKs/Concerns offer all products. Please check (by calling your local office) before arranging a visit.

*If you call the 03 number, you will be dealing with Just Retirement Solutions Limited, which provides the Age UK Equity Release Advice Service. The call centre opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays. Calls may be recorded for training purposes. Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to 01 or 02 numbers.
†The Age UK equity release calculator is provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited. By visiting the calculator you will be leaving the Age UK website.
The Age UK Equity Release Advice Service is provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited. Registered office address, Vale House, Roebuck Close, Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RU. Just Retirement Solutions Limited is registered in England no. 05125701. Just Retirement Solutions Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Age UK Enterprises Limited is the commercial services arm of Age UK (charity no. 1128267) which donates its net profits to the charity. The Age UK network includes Age Cymru, Age NI, Age Scotland and Age UK. Registered in England and Wales no. 03156159. Registered office: Tavis House, 1- 6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA.
Age UK Enterprises Limited receive commission from Just Retirement Solutions Limited of up to 0.75% of the amount advanced under each equity release plan sold together with a contribution towards marketing support. Net profits raised by Age UK Enterprises Limited from commission are donated to Age UK the Charity.

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