In just 3 months the insurance industry will undergo a massive shake-up.
The reform is not only likely to have a dramatic impact on the amount you pay in premiums for some policies, but could also affect the income you receive from your pension.
This is thanks to a ruling by the European Court of Justice that means insurers will no longer be able to factor gender into their risk calculations.
The change is likely to have the most significant impact for women who will end up paying more for motor and life insurance, but benefit from higher annuity payments when they cash in their pensions too.
The gender-neutral ruling comes into effect on 21st December and policies taken out before then are likely to be 'safe' until renewal; the same applies to annuities purchased before the change takes effect.
However, if you're looking to purchase an annuity or insurance policy after this date you will be affected and should get financial advice sooner rather than later if you want to be clear about your options.
If proposals put forward by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg are implemente, his plans would give parents a way to help their children on the property ladder even if they don't have the means to raise a large deposit. However, while this sounds good in principle, the implications of borrowing against retirement savings are severe if the mortgage falls into arrears, so the exact mechanism will need to be given a great deal of consideration.
That's even if you still owe money to your energy company. Ofgem has increased the amount of debt customers on prepayment meters can move between companies to £500, extended the amount of time those in debt have to repay and got the Big 6 energy companies to agree to proactively help their customers deal with energy debts.
According to the latest statistics from the BBA, as a nation we're focusing on repaying loans and credit cards and building up nest-eggs in savings accounts and Cash ISAs - a trend that's largely being driven by the subdued economic climate.
So, if you're a customer it's important you find out how you'll be affected. They're amending overdraft fees and charges, updating the benefits available with their Added Value Accounts and changing some account terms and conditions. Full details are available on each bank's website or you can pick up a guide from your local branch.
The nationwide sports shop have suspended share trading on the LSE and are, according to reports, enlisting KPMG's assistance. Stores will remain open for the time being but the future of the chain is uncertain so it's a good idea to spend any JJB vouchers while you still can.
The government has set consumer-based carbon efficiency targets for all major gas and electricity companies and if they don't fulfil them by the 31st December they could face fines of up to 10% of their annual turnover.
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