Monday, 8 October 2012
Monthly advice feature with Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens' Advice Bureau
Insurance price hikes could hit consumers sooner than expected following a ban on gender discrimination.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled it is illegal for insurers to offer different prices to men and women.
The overhaul comes into full force on 21 December 2012, but many experts expect insurers to hike prices sooner.
As a result of the ruling, young women's car insurance costs are likely to soar, men's annuity rates (which translates into retirement income) are likely to plummet while women may pay more for life insurance and men more for health insurance.
Where one gender loses the other is likely to win, and vice versa, but not necessarily by the same margin. For instance on car insurance, while young women's premiums are expected to rocket by 25%, young men's costs are unlikely to drop by the same amount.
Workplace Pension Reforms
Millions of people are not saving enough to have the income they are likely to want in retirement. Life expectancy in the UK is increasing and, at the same time, people are saving less into pensions. We need to address these challenges.
Starting from October 2012 employers will automatically enrol their workers into a workplace pension if they meet certain criteria. This will help to address the issues that prevent people from saving into a pension.
The short address for this page is: www.dwp.gov.uk/workplacepension
What is Flight-Plus
In simple terms, after 30 April a firm will need to hold an ATOL to sell a flight with either accommodation or car hire, or both. This is regardless of whether the firm is acting as agent or principal for the components.
The exact definition and requirements for Flight-Plus and Flight-Plus arrangers will be set out fully in the revised ATOL Regulations. Key points to note include:
Flight-Plus is a flight sold with accommodation and/or car hire. However, other elements sold with the Flight-Plus that form a significant part of the holiday must also be included in the arrangement.
The flight and accommodation and/or car hire must be requested within one day of each other, but it does not matter which the customer requests first.
The trip must be over 24 hours in duration or include an overnight stay.
If a firm sells another ATOL holder’s flight inclusive package and then adds separate overseas car hire or accommodation, this is also classed as a Flight-Plus, which the firm will be required to protect under its licence.
The flight must have its outbound leg departing from the UK, except where the arrangement includes travel departing the UK by another method such as ferry, coach or rail, in addition to an overseas flight.
Please note that the requirement to hold an ATOL to sell flight inclusive packages and some Flight-Onlys under ATOL remains.