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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 12:45 GMT
High Court victory for pensioners
Pensioners protesting last year
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday 24 February at 1204 GMT on Radio 4 and Online

Four people who have lost most of their company pensions have won a high court case against the government.

Mr Justice Bean said the government was wrong to completely reject a Parliamentary Ombudsman report into collapsed pension schemes.

He agreed with the ombudsman that government information on the security of occupational pensions was inaccurate and misleading.

The case affects up to 125,000 people who have lost all or some of their pension because their pension scheme was wound up after their employer got into financial difficulty.

After the hearing, Paul Lewis spoke to Andrew Parr of the Pensions Action Group; Marlene Cheshire, whose late husband lost his pension; and pensions expert Ros Altmann.

And on Saturday's programme, we spoke to Pensions Minister James Purnell and John Halford, partner with law firm Bindman & Partners.

Further information:


Carer's Allowance

A carer holding an elderly person's hand
Carers are entitled to certain benefits and help with housing costs
The recent increase in the minimum wage has left some carers several hundred pounds out of pocket, Money Box has learnt.

Any carer who works for 16 hours a week at the new minimum wage rate of 5.35 now earns 85.60.

This is above the 84 earnings threshold for Carer's Allowance and means they are no longer entitled to the weekly payment of 46.95.

This revelation comes in the week the government unveiled its New Deal for Carers, designed to improve the financial help offered to those who look after a friend or relative.

We spoke to one carer who has been affected by the change and Emily Holzhausen from Carers UK.

Further information:


Club membership

A wallet with money in it
Some club members could find themselves liable for debts
Thousands of people sit on committees of a wide variety of clubs, but what happens if the club gets into financial trouble?

Many members may not know it, but for some types of clubs they could all be held personally liable for any debts.

Bob Howard has been speaking to a club member who learnt her lesson the hard way and he found out what clubs can do to protect their members.

Since this item was broadcast, Money Box has been able to add some additional information to the transcript of this broadcast.

Further information:


Bank charges

Bank notes
Thousands of people have already claimed back their charges

More than a million template letters to reclaim bank charges have been downloaded from one consumer website alone.

And the Financial Ombudsman Service is also being swamped as bank charges becomes its number one consumer issue.

As the consumer revolution continues to gather pace, we ask if the end of free banking is a realistic prospect.

Paul Lewis spoke to Eric Leenders, executive director of the British Bankers' Association.

Further information:


OTHER NEWS

Home information packs are being rushed through and their introduction should be delayed, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has said.


BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 24 February 2007 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 25 February at 2102 GMT.



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