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Analysts predict pensions 'will be less generous' in future

The state pension will become less generous in the coming years, with the retirement age bumped up and means-testing reintroduced, according to a survey of financial analysts.

The majority of financial analysts say they believe the pension system will change Credit: PA

A total of 96 per cent of the 200 experts quizzed said they expected changes to come which would see many pensioners left out of pocket.

The survey was carried out by investment company Aegon UK - and retail managing director Duncan Jarrett warned that it could lead to uncertainty for people in their later years.

The state pension is a financial lifeline for millions of pensioners in the UK, so it's concerning to see such a resounding number of financial advisers foresee more uncertainty on the horizon.

People need confidence in what to expect to receive from the state, so we can't afford cliff-edge moves to means testing, or sudden increases to the state pension age.

– Duncan Jarrett, Aegon UK



Rail fares to rise 1% as inflation shows little movement

Rail fares will rise by 1% in January 2016.

Average rail fares will increase by 1% from January, after the Retail Prices Index (RPI) stood at that amount in July, unchanged from the previous month.

It comes after the government froze fares in real terms for the next five years by matching them to the inflation measure.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure rose to 0.1% in July from 0% in June, official figures also showed.

The Office for National Statistics, which released the figures, said it was the sixth month running that CPI, the headline measure of inflation, stood at or very close to zero.

It said the slight 0.1% increase was mainly due to clothing costs, with "smaller price reductions in this year's summer sales compared with a year ago".

"Food and motor fuel prices continue to fall and have helped stop a larger rise in the rate of inflation," head of CPI Richard Campbell said.

Keeping interest rates low 'risks damaging recovery'

Waiting too long to raise interest rates from its current record low of 0.5 per cent risks damaging Britain's economic recovery, one of the Bank of England's policy makers has warned.

MIT professor Kristin Forbes, who sits on the Bank's monetary policy committee (MPC) said keeping rates low while the economy was growing and wages were rising could create "distortions".

Delaying a rise in interest rates could damage the country's economic recovery, Forbes warned Credit: PA

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, she said China's recent decision to devalue the yuan and falls in energy prices meant the MPC had a "bit more time before inflationary pressures build" - but warned that to hold off on increasing interest rates could mean they shoot up faster than expected in future.

With such low inflation today, it is understandable to want to avoid pre-emptively ending this holiday.

A solid recovery is finally here. Increasing interest rates prematurely could moderate companies’ willingness to invest and consumers’ willingness to spend. But unfortunately monetary policy works with lags.

Maintaining interest rates at the current low levels during an expansion risks creating distortions. Therefore, interest rates will need to be increased well before inflation hits our two per cent target.

Waiting too long would risk undermining the recovery - especially if interest rates then need to be increased faster than the gradual path which we expect.

– Kristin Forbes, writing for the Telegraph

Strong pound and oil price fall to keep inflation at zero?

Inflation has been tipped to remain at zero due to the strength of the pound and the fall in the oil price.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will confirm on Tuesday if last month's inflation hovered around zero for a sixth month in a row.

Flat prices help boost household finances at a time when wages are rising. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

There is even thought to be a risk that the figures for July, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), could turn negative again - having dropped to minus 0.1% in April.

Flat prices help boost household finances at a time when wages are rising and make an interest rate hike by the Bank of England more likely.

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