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Last Updated: Friday, 17 June, 2005, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
Pensioners' lost millions
Grandmother with grandchild
Pension Credit was introduced in October 2003
BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 18 June, 2005 at 1502 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 19 June, 2005, at 2102 BST.

More than a million older people who could claim extra money through pension credit are still not doing so.

Take-up of the benefit remains well below the government's target, according to new figures from Department for Work and Pensions.

And even those people who do get the benefit may be getting less than they should, Money Box has learned.

We were joined by Mervyn Kohler from Help the Aged to discuss these problems.

Further information:


Financial education for children

Children in a class
The initiative is being sponsored by Barclays Bank

A new initiative is underway in South London where outside agencies are being invited into schools to teach personal finance, sponsored by one of the big high street banks.

Louise Greenwood reported.

Further information:


Second 1m premium bond jackpot

Champagne
The first 1m jackpot was introduced in April 1994

The UK's 23 million premium bond holders will have a second chance at winning a 1m jackpot every month from August.

We asked John Prout, Sales Director of National Savings & Investments how the extra prize is being funded and how it affects the chances of winning smaller amounts.

Further information:


First Direct to charge for texts

Mobile phone
A limited number of text mini-statements will remain free

First Direct has written to 450,000 customers who receive free mobile text banking messages and told them that in future they will often have to pay a fee.

Under the plans people who have chosen to receive an alert, for example to warn them if they are close to going into an overdraft, will now pay a 2.50 monthly charge.

Money Box's Chris A'Court reported.

Further information:


Equitable sells Gainsborough portrait

Gainsborough painting
Equitable's asset sales have brought in about 1.5 million
Troubled life insurer Equitable Life has finally sold the portrait of one of its early presidents painted by Thomas Gainsborough.

The picture of Charles Gould fetched 550,000 at Christies' sale room on Wednesday, leaving Equitable with an estimated 530,000.

The society has now sold almost all its historic assets bringing in about 1.5m for its members.

However Equitable's legal costs amounted to 9 million last year mainly in suing auditors and past directors. The case remains in court.

Further information:


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


Money Box


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