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Investigating the impact of pension and long-term care reforms

Researchers: Professor Ruth Hancock

Project overview

In April 2016 major reforms to state pensions and long-term care will be implemented in Great Britain and England respectively. This project investigates the likely combined effects of these reforms over the next 40 years, with the aim of informing long-term care policy.

The research team will use computer models of pensions and long-term care finance to compare the cumulative effects of both small, incremental changes (such as uprating for inflation), with more visible step-changes (such as changes to the level of the funding cap for long-term care).

These comparisons will be used to produce projections of public expenditure and analyses of the impact of the reforms on different income groups and typical individuals.

The research is structured around the following questions:

  • Are there short or long-term refinements to the pensions and long-term care reforms that would enable the two systems to work better together to meet their objectives?
  • Which are the key parameters of the two systems which need to maintain their values relative to each other and/or to external measures such as earnings or price inflation, care costs, life expectancy or disability rates? What are the implications of failure to maintain these values for the objectives of the reforms?
  • If the Government needs to contain costs or is able to expand the generosity of pension and long-term care provision, how can these savings or enhancements be made with least impact on the objectives of the reforms?
  • What are the lessons for long-term care policy in Scotland and Wales?

This analysis will enable decision-makers to be better informed about the implications of changes to state pensions and long-term care funding, as well as to understand the impact of factors outside government control. 

Latest on this project


  • Professor Ruth Hancock
    University of East Anglia

  • Alex Beer
    Senior Consultant, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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