Crooks are stepping up their efforts to trick middle-aged people out of their pension funds. In the last year the amount lost to these scams has doubled to an estimated total of £400 million. The scam is simple. A cold call or text invites someone to 'unlock' money from their pension before they reach 55, normally the earliest age at which they can legally get their hands on any of it. They are asked to transfer their pension fund into one opened by the crooks. That could be the last they see of the money which will disappear in charges and fake investments. If they do get any money out HM Revenue & Customs will take up to 70% of it in an unauthorised payment charge. This week the Pensions Regulator and the police are launching a new campaign to try to stop them. Paul speaks to Bill Galvin, Chief Executive of the Pensions Regulator.
If you have a disagreement with your bank which can't be resolved, you can normally choose to take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service to seek redress. That can get you compensation, but it won't always generally lead to an investigation of how the bank is dealing with other customers over the same issue. At the moment individuals can't ask the regulator - the Financial Services Authority - to do this either. But from April the new Financial Conduct Authority may be able to take such complaints. Bob Howard reports and Paul talks to Adam Phillips, chair of the FSA's Consumer Panel.
The number of people seeking help with water debt is growing. And this week's announcement of an average price rise of 3.5% won't help. We talk to one charity which says debt problems are rising 20% a year and ask what can be done about it.
Money Box has learned that 60,000 people are in a queue to ask the NHS to pay for long term care - either theirs or a relative's. Last year the Department of Health imposed a deadline of 30 September on compensation claims in England which dated back before April 2011. As a result tens of thousands of people put in a claim to get the NHS to pay for past care - and refund the costs they had paid themselves.