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In this section we will try to highlight some issues that may affect you. (The information is provide in good faith but you should contact a Financial advisor for exact details).

For information on a number of consumer choices please click here.

Chevron UK Pensioners' Association

2009/ 2010 ISA tax rules including the changes set out in the 2009 Budget.
The overall maximum ISA allowance for the over 50s has increased to 10,200 for the 2009/10 tax year. However, this is not available until 6th October 2009. If you are over 50 you can use your 7,200 allowance now and top up with the extra 3,000 after 6th October 2009. (But beware, some ISA providers may not be allowing the increase this year, and some if monies are only put into this year's ISA if starting after October 6th).

The maximum total annual contribution is 7,200 (10,200 if you are over 50 - available from 6th October 2009) of which half can be invested in a Cash ISA.

The maximum allowable cash portion is 3,600 (5,100 if you are over 50 - available from 6th October 2009).
The mini and maxi ISA distinction no longer exists. Any maxi or mini ISA is now simply called an ISA.
Mini stocks and shares ISA's and any stocks and shares component of a maxi ISA have become a stocks and shares ISA.
Mini cash ISA's and any cash component of a maxi ISA has become a cash ISA.
The full 7,200 allowance can be invested in stocks and shares (10,200 if you are over 50 - available from 6th October 2009), or you can choose up to 3,600 into a cash ISA (5,100 if you are over 50 - available from 6th October 2009).

For example; you save 1,200 in a cash ISA at the start of the tax year. In the same year, you could invest up to another 2,400 in the same cash ISA or up to 6,000 in a stocks and shares ISA with either the same or a different provider.

Funds are transferable from a cash ISA into a stocks and shares ISA, giving your money a better chance to grow over the medium to long term. Making the transfer won’t affect your ISA allowance, so if you make a transfer from a previous year’s ISA, it will not use any of the current year’s allowance. In addition, there will be no tax to pay on the returns you earn from your ISA. However you cannot transfer from a stocks and shares ISA to a cash ISA.

PEPs (Personal Equity Plans) has automatically become a stocks and shares ISA.

People across the UK are missing out on benefits and tax credits worth more than £8 billion a year. Entitledto can help make sure you get what is yours. Just use this simple calculator to work out how much you could claim, please click here.

Housing and Council Tax Benefit .

Housing Benefit provides help towards rent. Council Tax Benefit can reduce the amount of Council Tax you pay. How much you receive is dependent on factors including income, savings, the level of rent and council tax. For many older people receiving Pension Credit guarantee, benefits can cover all their rent and council tax; others can get some help to reduce these bills.

Who qualifies? If you get Pension Credit and pay rent and/or council tax you will normally also be entitled to these benefits . If you don’t receive Pension Credit but have NO more than 16,000 in savings, you may still receive some Housing and/or Council Tax Benefit. To obtain Age Concern's free factsheet on benefits call Freephone 0800 009966.

Winter Fuel Payments

 Introduced in 1997 to provide help with the cost of fuel bills for pensioner households. The WFP is 250 for most households with someone aged 60 or over. An extra 150 is paid where someone in the household is aged over 80.

Who qualifies? Most people aged 60 or over living in the UK. The payments for each year are based on someone’s age during the qualifying week during that year, which is normally the week beginning with the third Monday in September. Fuel helpline 08459 151515

Cold Weather Payments -

A payment of 8.50 is made when the average temperature at a specified weather station has been recorded, or is forecast to be 0C or below over seven consecutive days.

Who qualifies? People who are in receipt of Pension Credit or Income support . The payments are made automatically.

Disability Living Allowance

This is for people who make a claim before the age of 65 and who are physically or mentally ill or disabled and need help with personal care or need supervision from someone else, such as dressing or washing.

Who qualifies? People aged 64 and under who meet the specific care or mobility

conditions set out by Social Services.

Pension Credit

 Introduced in October 2003 , it has two parts -  the Guarantee Credit, which replaced the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) and the Savings Credit, which provides extra cash for people aged 65  and over who have made modest savings for their retirement. Some people are eligible for both parts while others mar receive either one or the other.

Who qualifies? If your income is less than 124.50 a week for a single person or 189.35 for a couple( 130/198.45 for the 2009 tax year) , plus any additional amounts because you are a carer, severely disabled or have eligible housing costs, you will receive the guarantee credit up to this level. Nearly half of all pensioners are eligible, so even if you’re not sure whether you are entitled, it can do no harm to put in a claim anyway. Enquiry Line 0800  99 1234

Attendance Allowance

A benefit for people aged 65 or over who are physically or mentally ill or disabled and need help with personal care or supervision from someone else, for example, dressing or washing. It is not income or savings based.

Who qualifies? - People aged 65 or over who meet the specific care or mobility

conditions set out by Social Services. Enquiry Line 0800 88 22 00

The figures quoted above may have been effected by the recent Budget so if you are close to these figures contact your local Social Services, Age Concern or CAB.

For UK benefits please click here

For UK retirement benefits click here.

To go to the Age Concern website click here.

To go to the Citizens Advice Bureau click here.

How to Complain
A general point : Use the Consumer Credit Act 1974 for items costing over 100 use a personal Credit card it gives you a higher level of protection.
1) Have a genuine complaint.
2) Your contract is with the seller, their obligations full under the Sale of Goods Act.
3) Put it in writing. If your complaint isn't dealt with to your satisfaction, send a letter of complaint by recorded post.
4) Be clear and polite.
5) Contact Trading Standards. If you are still dissatified after 14 days contact Trading Standards.

For Trading Standards click here.

6) Check the codes of Conduct. If the retailer is a member of a trade body check the code of contact of the body they may be able to help.
7) Take your case to court.

8) Know your rights.

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The CUKPA can not offer you specific advice please use the agencies suggested or the links provided.