The Dilnot Commission on long term care funding should not overlook the possibility of co-evolution between pensions and care

The Dilnot Commission was established by the government in July 2010 to make recommendations on the funding system for formal social care in England. It will report in the summer, and a white paper is expected by the end of the year. There is no doubt that the Commission is addressing some very significant issues around the fairness and sustainability of the current system, and as such its recommendations are eagerly awaited.

Yet there is a danger that in rigidly demarcating a set of care services in need of a new funding settlement, the Commission will overlook the potential efficiencies that exist between the care system for older people and related arms of the welfare state. For example, the possibility of co-evolution between the pensions system – through which individuals and society fund retirement more generally – and the care funding system does not seem to be under review by the Commission. There is no specific reference to pensions on the Commission’s website or in its terms of reference, determined by the government.

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Image: Thomas Bjorkan