Our journey to a better society
Inclusive Capitalism is a whole society effort
Building a better society relies on creating a more inclusive capitalism. This kind of change needs leadership from the top; and crucially, anyone should be able to make it to the top. This chapter focuses on what Legal & General can do help to build a better society. We are focusing on supporting peoples’ financial resilience, creating new and better neighbourhoods, building more of the right kind of houses and supporting society to deal with today’s health challenges.
Accelerating scientific research about longevity
At Legal & General we are leading the transformation envisioned by the 100-year life; our oldest annuitant is 107 years of age. We are a global leader in Pension Risk Transfer; we have grown and changed the lifetime mortgage market so there is more and better choice for older people; we plan to build 3,000 new homes designed for retired people; we have commissioned Annuity Ready to compare annuity products; and we are leading the way in creating solutions for the longevity economy.
We also understand that there are challenges ahead in adapting to such a differently structured and ageing population, so we are already working with leading longevity academics and scientists:
• Legal & General was chosen (in 2020) by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to deploy £6 million of grant funding to early stage companies that are making a difference in the healthy ageing market.
• Legal & General works closely alongside and in support of UK academics, including through the Longevity Science Panel.
• In the last two years alone, it has formed the UK’s largest science and technology property partnership, Bruntwood SciTech, and announced a £4 billion partnership with Oxford University to develop science and innovation districts within the region, together with homes for staff and students.
• Legal & General’s long-term partnership with Newcastle Council and Newcastle University continues to deliver at pace. Its Newcastle Helix scheme, which houses the UK’s National Centre for Ageing, brings together innovators in improving quality of life as people age, alongside a major new hub for scientific research and technology.
• Guild Living are also working with the University of Bath to research reductions in loneliness in later life.
In the last 20-30 years rich people have done well all over the world but poorer and middle class people have fallen behind and this huge number of people are becoming disillusioned with what’s happening politically, economically, educationally and health-wise. They all want a better life for themselves – we have to step up
Building a generation of new, high quality, affordable housing
The UK’s housing crisis has been growing for decades, leaving a catalogue of social and economic problems in its wake. Millennials are locked out of home ownership by the growth in house prices. Older people are often trapped in ill-suited accommodation because there are very few homes being built specifically for older people. We are working across our businesses to address these issues. For millennials and renters, for instance, we have a portfolio of nearly 5,000 homes, having committed £1.7 billion in capital across the UK. For older people who want to move into accommodation better suited to their plans, our Later Living business, ‘Inspired Villages’, is creating retirement communities across the country.
The biggest social impact of the housing crisis comes from the lack of affordable and social rent homes for the growing number of people who cannot afford market rates; 35% of households in council or housing association homes are working households.
Between 1980 and 2016/17, 1.5 million homes were lost from social rented stock, and today there is a housing waiting list of well over one million people. The UK’s housing system needs to add thousands more affordable and socially rented homes to its supply. Legal & General Affordable Homes (LGAH) was established in 2018 to build affordable homes and now they target building 3,000 new affordable homes each year.
We’re committed to leading the evolution of the affordable housing sector, by combining our longterm capital with the expertise and management capability of the highest quality providers. In 2019 our first affordable homes became both operational, welcoming our first residents, and profitable, while generating significant opportunities for the group’s retirement business.
Investing in tech to help us age better
With life expectancy on the rise, we’re investing in technology that will improve health expectancy too
Future proofing elderly care
We’ve donated £5 million to a new care model built on the learnings from the pandemic
Supporting businesses in Wales with their post-pandemic recovery
We’ve partnered with Wales’ Social Enterprise Academy to help businesses bounce back from the pandemic and remain an integral part of local communities
Sustainable development goals
In 2015, 193 countries signed up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were established as a route map to delivering a sustainable global economy. The key outcome of the SDGs has been the increased allocation of investment capital to social objectives. At Legal & General we have aligned the SDGs with our three journeys. Our driver to address ageing demographics and welfare reforms is shown in our below priorities:
Good health and well-being
• The UK suffers from a lack of affordable housing, leading to more than one million people on housing waiting lists. We expect to add 3,000 new affordable homes to the housing market.
• More than three million people in the UK are actively looking to downsize. Our transformative later living accommodation is now operational at six sites with over 1,000 homes in our suburban Later Living portfolio. We also plan to deliver around 3,000 new retirement homes over the next five years
Decent work and economic growth
• In 2019, we entered into four new Government Hub investments and four of our ongoing investments reached practical completion, driving sustainable regional growth and aiding job creation across the UK and bringing our total investment in these assets to over £1.2 billion.
• We’re proud to be a real Living Wage Employer in the UK, including contractors and suppliers who work on our in all our office locations.