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Big buyback opportunity for women

Pre-Budget report changes mean women with an incomplete National Insurance record could get a return on investment of up to 7,200 per cent if they buy back extra years.

Standard Life says women should move fast to take advantage of the deal before the buyback price rises in April 2009.

Women with fewer than 10 qualifying years of National Insurance payments are not entitled to the basic state pension but as soon as they reach 10 years they are entitled to 26 per cent of the full basic state pension.

If a woman has nine qualifying years, the cost of buying class 3 NI contributions to get an extra year and qualify for 26 per cent of the full pension is only £421.20. If they were to buy an index-linked pension on the open market to draw the same amount per week, it would cost £30,656.

Standard Life says even if a woman already has 10 qualifying years, it could still be worthwhile to buy extra years.

Head of pensions policy John Lawson says: “Women looking to take advantage of this deal should act fast. The Government has cottoned on to the fact that class 3 contributions are a giveaway and plan to raise prices.”


Challenge to manage the state lenders

Although mention was made of the future benefit of the Crosby report, there was no up-front stimulus for the housing market or the provision of mortgages in the pre-Budget report.

Recession to be short and shallow

HSBC chief economist Dennis Turner has forecast the recession will be shallower and shorter than predicted, with a recovery starting in the second half of next year.


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