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Lets Get Started: Just Retirement Equity Release Review
Just Retirement merged with Partnership Assurance in late 2015 as a result of pension reforms announced in the 2014 budget. The same year Retirement Advantage acquired Stonehaven Equity Release for the same reasons. Following the merger, Just Retirement re-branded and are now just ‘Just’, despite all their products being squarely focused on retirement finance.
The Just product range includes savings, investments, credit, mortgages, pensions, plans for later life care funding. They also provide equity release products through lifetime mortgages including lump sum, income drawdown in addition to home reversion plans.
Our Just Retirement Equity Release reviews are focusing on the latter products of lifetime mortgages only and not the home reversion plans. If you’re interested in a home reversion plan, which involves selling some of the equity in your home for below market value instead of borrowing against your home equity, we welcome you to speak to one of our advisors.
It should be noted that all equity release products are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, for which Just are regulated by. In addition, Just are members of the Equity Release Council (ERC), so homeowners interested in any of their equity release products will have the benefit of the ERCs no negative equity guarantee and the right to retain full home ownership for the rest of your days, or that of your partner. All members of the Equity Release Council are required to provide homeowners with those two assurances.
About the Just Brand
The tagline for Just Group PLC sums up what Just are about…
“We Help People Achieve A Better Later Life”
The Just Retirement Group was first established in 2004. Their first products focusing on retirees were guaranteed income plans, which were provided through pension annuities. Annuities were the target of the 2014 budget announcement of pension reforms, forcing annuity providers to innovate or face being left behind if they didn’t provide alternative financing solutions that were better than the annuities on offer before 2015.
As part of the Just Retirement journey, the group focused a lot on understanding how health and lifestyle affect life longevity. They’d compile data to understand how different conditions would change people’s lives and livelihoods and design ‘enhanced terms’ into their financial solutions to meet the needs of retiree finance.
This is a strategy that has served them well by keeping them centred on customer needs, and it’s also resulted in Just Retirement receiving five stars in the Financial Advisor Service Awards for the Life and Pensions category every year consecutively since 2005.
By 2016, Just Retirement Limited formed the Just Retirement Money Limited Group, representing a more diversified offering for later in life borrowers with a stronger focus on those nearing retirement rather than those already retired.
The Just Retirement Money Group became voluntary members of the Equity Release Council, ensuring the products provided to those nearing retirement were in line with the ERC’s Statement of Principles. For customers, it meant safe, reliable and trusted financing solutions with integrated guarantees.
The Just Equity Release products on offer now are designed to offer a variety of financing solutions to those over the age of 60, who either own their homes outright or have a small amount remaining on their mortgage.
If you feel equity release could be something to benefit your finances, speak to one of our advisors today. Equity release can only be entered into after you’ve received professional financial advice.
We provide expert equity release advice in addition to a free whole of market equity release comparison, ensuring you’re fully informed and have access to the best deals available both for now and in the years to come.
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About Just Lifetime Mortgages
Just offer two types of lifetime mortgages: one to provide near-retired and those in retirement a more substantial one-off payment based on the amount of their property valuation and their age at the time of the application.
In addition to a one-off payment, Just also provide a lump sum with income drawdown plan, which can be used to provide a supplemental income during retirement or as smaller one-off payments as and when you need it. There are also Enhanced Lifetime Mortgages available to those with a shorter life expectancy due to existing health concerns.
An overview of each of the plans is listed below:
The Just Drawdown Plan
This is a lifetime mortgage suited to those aged 60 and over. You can use it to release equity from your home as and when you need it. You can borrow from £10,000 up to a maximum of £600,000 if you live in England. For homes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the maximum you can borrow is capped at £250,000. The amount you’ll be eligible for is based on your age at the time of the application and subject to a home valuation. The maximum LTV you can borrow from your home equity increases with age.
Instead of being paid an advance on your home equity once, as a one-off transaction, you can specify a lower amount, leaving some of your funds available on reserve to withdraw in the future at a time you choose.
The advantage to drawdown lifetime mortgages is you only pay the interest on funds released rather than the total loan approved, helping you to save on interest charges.
The interest rate payable from the outset is only applicable to funds released. The interest rates charged on future funds will be based on revised interest rates which may be higher, lower or remain the same.
The Just Lite Plan
Just Lite is a lifetime mortgage designed to pay a lump sum once. There’s no reserve facility offered to withdraw funds at a later date. Once the initial funds are released through a Just Lite plan, further lending options would only be available after six months of your funds being released, but that’s not guaranteed.
If you need the guarantee of future borrowing, the drawdown plan would be more suited. To be eligible for the Just Lite plan, the minimum age is 60 years old, and the least Just will accept for a home valuation is £70,000 on this plan. The minimum you can withdraw through the Just Lite plan is £10,000.
Just Lump Sum Plus
The Just Lump Sum Plus plan allows for a higher loan to value but can incur higher interest rates. In addition, this plan can be tailored to provide an Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage for eligible customers with existing health conditions expected to shorten their life expectancy. By taking into account the current health and lifestyle of homeowners applying for equity release, it may be possible to get a higher advance at more competitive interest rates.
As with all other Just plans, the minimum age is 60 years old, and a minimum home valuation of £70,000 applies.
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Points of Note For Just Equity Release Products
- While equity release is open to those over 55 years of age, with Just equity release, there is a higher minimum age of 60 years of age
- Your home needs to be mortgage-free. If not, the funds released will need to be used to become mortgage-free.
- Your home will need to be of standard construction materials
- Minimum borrowing amount is £10,000
- All Just equity release plans offer a no negative equity guarantee
- The interest roll-up is applied on an annual basis rather than monthly. This can make a lifetime mortgage cost less over the long-term depending on the rate offered.
- On all plans, you remain the homeowner and have the guarantee you can stay in the property for the rest of your life or until you (or both people on a joint plan) go into a long-term care home.
- There is an option to repay up to 10% of the initial loan amount per the calendar year. This is not required, but if you’d rather have an opportunity to repay some of the interest rolling up on your loan, you can repay up to 10% per year, but the amount you owe cannot drop below £10,000.
- For joint policies, there is an early repayment charge waiver if the surviving partner chooses to sell the property or move into long-term care within three years of losing their partner or their partner moving into a long-term care home.
- Lifetime mortgages provided by Just can be transferred subject to the new property meeting the lending criteria.
Find out how much you could borrow
You can use the Just Equity Release Calculator to get an indication of how much you may be able to borrow. The figures given are only indicative though.
While the Just equity release products are only suitable for those over 60 years of age, 1st UK works with lenders who are members of the Equity Release Council and can approve on lifetime mortgages from the age of 55 years old.
For impartial, non-obligatory and free advice on equity release get in contact with our advisors today.
If equity release is suitable, we’ll provide you with a whole of market comparison of leading lenders including Just, helping you decide on the best option for you and your family.
Please note that the Just logo is a trademark of The Just Group plc, to which we have no direct affiliation. The equity release firms we work with provide quotes from many providers.
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