Following the successful roll-out of auto enrolment, which has seen millions more people saving towards their retirement, the government is now considering a similar scheme to fund social care.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Matt Hancock, the government's health and social care secretary said that he wanted to see more people taking "personal responsibility" for their health and social care. He said that such a scheme would offer people more security, with people not being forced to use up all of their savings or sell their home. While average care costs are £25,000, one in 10 people can face "catastrophic" costs of more than £100,000.
"I'm attracted to the model of auto-enrolment, which has been so successful in pensions. If you make it the norm, tell people what it is they have to do to look after themselves, it's often the case that very few people will opt out. It takes away the injustice of people losing all what they have saved for. Those opting out would face the same risks as now," said Mr Hancock.
Former Pensions Minister Ros Altmann welcomed the plan saying a national fund for social care would be a "major step forward in addressing the stark, unsustainable unfairnesses of our current system".
But she warned: "Finding funding for social care is most urgent for those already in later life. They will not have an employer to help them, so the model of pensions auto-enrolment is less relevant and other reforms will be required."