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Last Updated: Friday, 22 October, 2004, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Also on Money Box
Changing lightbulbs is one way of being efficient

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 23 October, 2004 at 1204 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 24 October, at 2102 BST.

Energy efficiency

Mike Johnson investigated how saving the planet could also save you money, ahead of Energy Efficiency Week which begins on Monday.

Further information:

Women and pensions

Work and Pensions Secretary Alan Johnson has made the surprising admission that state pensions paid to women are a "national scandal".

Speaking to a committee of MPs he said that only around 50% of women get the full state pension.

The reason is often simply that women spend more of their lives out of work than men, caring for children or others.

Fewer National Insurance contributions from some, particularly those who were full time carers before 1979, have left them with an inadequate entitlement.

The pensions advisory service, opas, has just launched a special helpline, and produced a free booklet, to help women bewildered by the system.

To discuss the issues, its Chief Executive Malcolm Mclean joined us.

Further information:

T&N pensions hope

The chief executive of US engineering firm Federal Mogul has visited the UK to discuss an offer which could save the pensions of around 40,000 workers of UK subsidiary Turner & Newall.

Unions have said they are "cautiously optimistic" about the new deal, but few details have been revealed so far.

We heard from T&N employee Tony Hill and Geoffrey Robinson, Labour MP for Coventry North West, both of whom were at the meeting.

Mr Robinson has 350 T&N employees in his constituency.

Further information:

Credit information privacy

From 1 November, when individuals apply for their own credit record, they will no longer be given financial details of family members at the same address.

Individuals will only be given information about themselves and anyone they have a financial relationship with, such as a joint loan or mortgage.

To discuss the long-awaited change, we spoke to Assistant Information Commissioner David Smith and Neil Munroe from Equifax.

Further information:

Free passports for older people

Around 4.5 million elderly people became entitled to free passports from 18 October, saving them the 42 standard fee, the Home Office has said.

The idea developed out of a scheme to allow war veterans to revisit places or people they knew during the war, but has now been extended to benefit anyone who was 10 years old when the 2nd World War began.

Anyone born on 2 September 1929 or earlier is exempt from the usual fee when they take out a new passport or renew an old one.

And anyone eligible for the scheme who has paid for a passport since 19 May, 2004, can apply for a full refund.

Passport Adviceline: 0870 521 0410

Further information:

Producer: Jennifer Clarke
Presenter: Paul Lewis
Reporter: Mike Johnson
Web Producer: Nathalie Knowles

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22 Oct 04  |  Moneybox


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