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More Or Less Thursday, 20 March, 2003, 15:18 GMT
Pensioner Poverty
Pensioner next to fire
People will need to save more for their retirement years

More or Less was broadcast on Tuesday, 25 March, 2003 at 1600 GMT on BBC
Radio 4.

 Click here to listen to the programme

"We're heading for a pensions crisis with many older people living in or near poverty."

It's a common view in the UK and has become more entrenched as a result of stock market falls and urgent government encouragement to save more for retirement.

But are we making sense of the numbers?

We spoke to Professor Richard Disney, University of Nottingham; Carl Emmerson, programme director at the Institute of Fiscal Studies; and John and Mary Gribbin, authors of 'Big Numbers'.

And the businessman who admits to making up the numbers in his business plans. Banks insist on figures, but what do they tell us?

We heard from Robert and Marcia Denton-Rees of Capital Models in London; Stephen King, Managing Director of Economics at HSBC; and Professor Christopher Hood, of All Souls College, Oxford.

Plus Ian Vallance, the teacher whose maths is magic. We looked at how probability can make sense with a pack of cards.

We heard from Russell Levinson, magician and finance director; and Rachel Thomas, News Editor of Plus magazine.

And finally, we spoke to Patrick O'Neill at Nine Elms sorting office in south London, to find out why mail gets 'lost in the post'.

Producer: Michael Blastland
Editor: Nicola Meyrick

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