The Financial Conduct Authority has proposed changes to address the barriers to entry and facilitate further retail investment in patient capital.
Under the FCA's proposals, retail investors will be able to gain greater access to patient capital through unit-linked funds while maintaining appropriate protection levels.
The proposed measures aim to address potential barriers to investment in patient capital by retail investors and will look to allow funds to pick the opportunities that match the needs of consumers more effectively.
The consultation paper follows this year's Budget, when Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed plans to increase investment in patient capital.
Patient capital can be defined as alternative assets that deliver long-term returns such as infrastructure, real estate, private debt and venture capital.
Alongside this consultation, the FCA has launched a discussion paper looking into how UK authorised funds can be used to invest in patient capital.
The paper does not propose any changes to authorised fund rules, but outlines the existing opportunities to invest in patient capital and will consider responses to come to a view on whether any changes are necessary.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, commented: "We are proposing changes to allow retail investors greater access to long-term investment opportunities.
"We are also seeking views to help us identify any unnecessary barriers to investment in patient capital through authorised funds.
"We will ensure that any changes continue to provide an appropriate level of protection for consumers."
The deadline for responses to the consultation paper and discussion paper is 28 February 2019.
In August last year, the Treasury dismissed the idea of launching a Patient Capital ISA, an initiative backed by fund manager Neil Woodford.
Jonathan Lipkin, director of policy, strategy and research at the Investment Association, commented: "Investment funds are a critical part of the pensions landscape.
"They provide an important route for investment to flow into the wider economy, which helps drive long-term returns for savers and investors.
"The industry is already considering how funds can play a more significant role in the area of patient capital and we look forward to responding to today's FCA discussion paper."