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Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 11:40 UK

Salary sacrifice

Salary advice slip
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 20 June 2009 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

Unemployment is at a 12 year high and rising faster than at any time since the 1980s.

While some employers are making positions redundant, others are asking employees to make financial sacrifices in order to keep their jobs.

This week British Airways has asked more than 30,000 employees to consider working for nothing or take unpaid leave for up to one month to help the company through tough times.

Do you have to give in to your employers demands and how can you safeguard your longer term employment benefits and pensions?

We were joined by Siân Keall, employment partner at Travers Smith and Malcolm McClean, chief executive of the Pensions Advisory Service.

Further information:

Consumer protection

FSA logo on glass door
The FSA has been accused of failing to protect consumers

The last week has seen great debate over the future of financial services regulation.

But amidst all the talk about technicalities, we ask what consideration is being given to protecting people who placed their money and trust in the system.

The Financial Services Consumer Panel has called on the City watchdog to put the consumer back into its thinking.

We discussed what the regulators priorities should be to bring back consumer confidence with:

Adam Phillips, acting chair, Financial Services Consumer Panel.
Vincent Cable, Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham and shadow chancellor of the exchequer.
Philip Hammond, Conservative MP for Runnymede & Weybridge and shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

Further information:

Currency conversion loss

Euro notes
Money Box listener Kirsty was automatically charged in Euros

Holidaymakers are losing money when using their credit cards abroad as a result of changes which were supposed to increase consumer choice.

It happens because in some countries purchases can be billed directly by the retailer in pounds instead of in the local currency.

Retailers are supposed to clearly ask you for your preference, but Money Box has learnt of at least one case where the decision was made without the customer's consent, causing them to lose out in the process.

Bob Howard reported:

Further information:

AVIVA reattribution vote

AVIVA logo
Policyholders need to respond with their vote by 21 August

More than one million policyholders who have with-profits funds with the insurance giant Aviva are receiving packs about the proposed 'reattribution' of its surplus funds.

The company is asking policyholders to vote to accept payments of at least £200 in exchange for any future share of the surplus money.

The deal, which has been recommended by the policyholders' advocate, Clare Spottiswoode, affects those with policies in two with-profits funds - CGNU Life and CULAC.

A payout worth £1bn was first proposed by Aviva last summer. But after stock market falls the value has been reduced to around half that original amount.

Money Box looked at what is being offered and evaluated the options for policyholders.

We talked to:

Dr John Pilkington, Norwich Union Policyholders Action Group.
Clare Spottiswoode, Policyholders' advocate.
Danny Cox, IFA Hargreaves Lansdown.

Further information:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 20 June at 1204 BST.

The programme will be repeated on Sunday, 21 June at 2102 BST.

Money Box



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