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Last Updated: Friday, 10 December, 2004, 16:31 GMT
State pension reform
Women's pensions
Women would be better off under the new scheme, the report said
BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 11 December, 2004 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 12 December, at 2102 GMT.

A universal 'citizen's pension' would benefit millions, is affordable, and could be implemented within six years, a report has found.

The National Association of Pension Funds and the Pensions Policy Institute have published interim findings which have backed the idea of reform to the state pension.

On Monday's Money Box Live, Paul Lewis put your pension questions to the experts.

Under the plan, the present system would be replaced with a universal payment starting at 105 per week, and eligibility would be based on residency rather than National Insurance contributions.

The study is open to public consultation before a final report on the plan is released.

Christine Farnish of the National Association of Pension Funds explained why it has given the proposal its backing. And Labour MP for Birkenhead Frank Field joined us to explain why he disagrees with the idea.

Further information:

'Despair' for T&N workers

Turner and Newall workers have suffered a major setback after reports emerged its US parent company Federal Mogul will not fund a compromise deal to save their pensions.

It now looks as if the problem may fall into the hands of the government's new Pension Protection Fund (PPF) which begins in April.

But fears have been raised that the PPF could not cope with the size of the claim.

T&N workers have described the latest news as "devastating" and a "complete bombshell".

Further information:

Benefit changes announced

People looking for work and claiming jobseeker's allowance will get just 55p per week extra in April as part of a general increase in benefits just announced.

Their weekly benefit will rise to 56.20, or 8.03 a day.

However, an extra 2.1 billion will target pensioner poverty, lifting the income of the poorest pensioners to 109.45, or 167.05 for couples.

Gary Vaux, head of Money Advice at Hertfordshire County Council joined Paul Lewis to discuss the changes.

Further information:

Homeowners 'mortgage shock'

Hundreds and thousands of homeowners could face a steep rise in their mortgage payments in the new year, mortgage broker Charcol has warned.

Bank of England
There have been four base rate rises this year
The affected people have mortgages with lenders who only adjust the interest on an annual basis, rather then each time the Bank of England adjusts the base rate.

And with four interest rate rises this year, they may now see a sudden jump in their monthly outgoings.

We spoke to Ray Boulger from Charcol about who will be affected and when.

Further information:

Money Box Christmas Quiz

Be among the first to file an entry into the annual Money Box Christmas Quiz and be in with a chance of winning a digital radio.

Enter the quiz

Producer: Chris A'Court
Presenter: Paul Lewis
Reporter: Louise Greenwood
Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles


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