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Does more QE spell pensions doom?

savings jar
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 7th July 2012 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

Annuity rates have fallen by more than a quarter in the last four years or since the start of the credit crisis in 2008.

In late 2008 a man with £100,000 of pension savings would have been able to buy an annual fixed income of £7,855 for life. A man retiring today would only be able secure an income of just over £5,740.

The decline in annuity rates coincided with the start of the Bank of England's quantitative easing programme -the printing of extra money to pump into the economy in the hope of stimulating growth.

This week an another £50bn tranche of cash was released boosting the overall total to more than a third of a trillion pounds.

Good news for the economy? We'll have to wait and see. Bad news for pensioners? Paul Lewis asks Dean Mirfin, one of the founding directors of Key Retirement Solutions.

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Who should pay - and how much - if your car causes damage to a motorway?

Money Box has been contacted by a listener who's been presented with a bill for more than £300 after fuel from their vehicle leaked onto the hard shoulder.

That's despite the emergency services already having dispersed most of it themselves.

Bob Howard reports and Paul talks to Peter Watters, head of roads policy at the AA.

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They may have seemed an attractive idea 20 years ago but turn the clock forward and many elderly owners are finding themselves stuck paying hundreds, even thousands in maintenance payments for properties they no longer use and cannot sell.

Money Box listener Mary and her husband are both in their 80's and have two timeshares in Scotland.

Despite not being well enough to use the properties for more than a decade, they are stuck paying more than £2,500 a year in fees.

Money Box talks to Paul Gardner Bougaard from the resort Development Organisation and also to solicitor David Greene at Edwin&Co.

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Supreme Court rules on cohabiting case

The rights of couples who live together without being married were clarified this week in the Supreme Court.

The judgment applies only in Scotland where a six year old Act gives individuals the right to claim for any economic disadvantage they suffered during the relationship.

Mrs Gow moved in with Mr Grant in 2003. He owned the house they lived in and she sold her Edinburgh flat, spending the proceeds on their joint activities.

After five years they parted and she moved into rented accommodation. If she had kept her flat it would have gained more than £30,000 in value.

She wanted that disadvantage paid by Mr Grant but the appeal court rejected her claim. Earlier this week the Supreme Court overturned that judgement awarding her £39,500.

John Fotheringham at Edinburgh solicitors Lindsays and Jo Edwards at Manches solicitors and vice-chair of the family law body Resolution join the programme.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturday at 1204 BST.

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