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The future funding of social care

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 9 July 2011 at 1204 BST on Radio 4 and Online

Proposals on how to fund an affordable system of care in England have been unveiled by the Commission on Funding of Care and Support.

The Fairer Care Funding report has reopened the debate about the proportion of costs which should be met by individuals, families and the state.

Money Box talks to Reverend Geoffrey Lang, Neil Duncan-Jordan from the National Pensioners Convention and Peter Gatenby senior actuary at Mazars about the reforms and whether insurers could play a role.

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Inflation warning

A top investment manager tells Money Box that the Bank of England has "failed" in its job of keeping inflation at its target 2%.

Bill McQuaker of Henderson Global Investors believes "3%, 4% or even 5%" will persist as we import inflation from Asia, where wages are rising.

He speaks to presenter Paul Lewis.

Read Paul's news story here:

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Pension tax-free lump sum

If you have money in a pension fund and you reach 55 you are entitled by law to take 25% of it in tax-free cash, as long as you then either take the rest as a pension or put it into what is called a draw-down scheme.

One Money Box listener, Jonathan, aged 55, wanted to access some of the £48,000 he had in two pension plans with Aviva and Legal & General, when he became unemployed.

He was told that while he could access his cash, he also had to convert the rest into an annuity, which he didn't want to do.

Was that really his only option? We put the question to two independent financial advisers: Steve Taylor of Taylor Oliver and Martin Bamford of Informed Choice.

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Packaged bank accounts

The number of people being sold a bank account that charges a monthly fee is on the rise. An industry insider told Money Box that around 1 in 3 accounts opened are now paid for.

Fees vary between £10 and £25 per month and the benefits are wide ranging, mobile phone insurance is common as is travel insurance. Car assistance, fraud protection and an interest free overdraft are also widely available with fee paying accounts. But the crucial things to consider are do you need the benefits and can you source them cheaper individually?

Last month The Magistrate's Blog, which contains online musings by someone calling themselves Bystander, expressed concern and frustration at the number of elderly people that were paying for accounts which offered virtually no benefit to them.

Richard Bristow - a.k.a Bystander - talks to Paul Lewis.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturday at 1204 BST and repeated on Sunday at 2102 BST.



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