Sainsbury’s Energy releases longest deal as last of Big Six costs strikes. Establish your energy bills for four years

Households hand over an average £50 extra for their energy this year, due to the fact that E.On’s planned price hike of 3.5 per cent, finishing this winter’s series of bill risings from the Big Six.
The most significant providers agreed to freeze the prices until the Spring of 2015 and some of them even reduced the costs, in order to accord the bill-payers some more breathing space. However, numerous families will want to secure their personal bank balances from the future hikes and establish longer fixed deals. The great news is that small provider Sainsbury’s Energy has released an innovative fixed-price tariff, protecting households from other increases until April 2018.

British Gas – In November, the customers noticed their bills raised by 9.2 per cent, but the green tax reduced it by 3.2 per cent on January 1. Now, the bill costs around £1,265 a year, but British Gas assures to freeze varying rate prices until the Summer of 2015.

EDF Energy – The prices raised by 3.9 per cent on January 3, an increase considering the anticipated green tax and also a £12 rebate. Now, the supplier’s standard tariff is settled on an average of £1,237 per year and the providers say that variable prices will freeze until 2015.

E.On – Reflecting the reduction in green tax, the costs went up by 3.5 per cent on January 18, as well as including £12 rebate to the customers. The supplier has not assured the prices freezing, but it explained it is improbable to increase the prices pending the next 18 months, just until the Spring of 2015. The bill is now estimated at about £1,240.

Npower – The provider increased the prices at the beginning of last December, by whooping 10.4 per cent. From February 28, they will reduce the prices by £38 and they will also offer £12 rebate later this year. After cuts the average bill will cost £1,299, Npower accepting to hold variable costs now until the Spring of 2015.

Scottish Power – They also raised the costs by 8.6 per cent at the start of December, but they will cut the prices by £54 on January 31 and freeze variable costs until the year 2015. The medium standard tariff stands at about £1,284.

SSE – They declared an increase of 8.2 per cent starting early in the November of the last year, but it will cut prices by about £50 since March 24. Likewise, they agreed to freeze costs until the Spring of 2015, bringing the bill down to around £1,259 a year.

The cheapest fix available now is provided by Spark Energy’s Advance 3. The costs are £1,025 for the average user, but you have no guarantees that prices won’t rise and you also have to pay for your energy up front.

Considering that the bill costs £1,316 a year for an average household and the medium standard tariff offered by supplier stands at £1,264 a year, the households will pay more £52. On the other hand, the determined plan lasts until March 31of the year 2018, so the households can successfully avoid a period of four years of potential rate risings.

The pension snare that traps one saver every minute

For a long time, taking your pension could not have been easier. You and your employer paid a small amount of your salary and on your retirement day you were assured to get an income. The sum you obtained was based on your final salary and the number of years you have worked. Every year that sum would increase with inflation and would keep paying out half of that income to your spouse after your death. This idea was secure and relaxing for many savers.

These days, just one in ten private-sector workers contributes into these retirement plans and their number decreases every year. With an amount of just £5,728 a year for a single person, the basic state pension is not enough to pay for the pensioner’s lifestyle.twenty-pounds-british-notes

Our increasing life expectations and the tax on dividends in pension funds leaded to the fall of the private pension schemes. The consequence is that many workers are given defined contribution pensions. Your earnings and the contribution of your employer are deposited into a pension fund managed by an insurance company. This is invested in the stock market and the resulted amount will depend on how the investments were performed, minus the charges for taking care of your money. Savers will turn this sum into an income and, to do this, they have to take out the annuity offered by insurance companies.

Nowadays, saving into a pension can be challenging. Many people hit retirement age and found out that their savings are far from satisfactory. A significant move ahead was to automatically enroll every worker into a company pension. By 2017, 11million employees will be contributing into a pension for the first time. This will assure savings for the persons who never had or waited several years to start, but still many people will hit retirement age with a much smaller income than they anticipated. It happens because savers are mainly left to their own devices and they don’t actually know how much they will need in retirement. Also, savers have to know how much has been displaced to charges, the contributions and how the pension funds have performed.

Savers hardly boost their contributions and they find out too late that they need to save more. But if you don’t begin saving until you are 45, you would have to save £935 a month to get the same income.

A big failure happens when converting the earnings into an income. Paying into a pension that will provide some kind of regular payment, a significant amount of damage can be done. Some insurers obtain enormous profits by offering duff deals to uninformed customers.

Six months before retirement, you will receive a letter from your pension company, from where you will find out that some firms will pay you much income from your savings and that you can shop around for a different income. If this letter doesn’t contain an offer of an income, the letter you receive after three months will include it. It is important for you to know that the basic income calculated by the firms will cease after your death and your spouse will be deprived of even tens of thousands of extra income. But these letters contain jargon-packed, vast information, and the most important detail goes missing. The process is baffling and the retirees are dumped on to the rate their insurer has offered.

It is critical that the pensions industry encounter some difficult reforms, but it is important for you to consult a financial adviser to help you decide what to do with your pension.

Outrageous! “Anorexic” doll that shuns food. It should be banned!

nenuco foodThe makers of this toy, a £34.99 doll that refuses to eat, have been accused of encouraging anorexia. This doll shakes her head and keeps her mouth shut when trying to feed her. The feeding spoon contains a magnet that activates an internal switch, closing the doll’s mouth when attempting to make her eat. The new mothers often go through this, struggling to get the babies to have their meals. But you can get this doll to eat by turning the spoon over and pressing it against her lips.

Eating disorder campaigners declare that it could embolden and normalize eating disorders at an early age and that selling it is establishing a negative example.

The doll named “Nenuco Won’t Eat” is produced by the company Famosa, which makers justify that this toy is actually intended to help children understand the frustrations of normal life and the importance of properly eating. Because it is going on sale in the UK in February, the campaigners express their worries about the threatening subliminal message that will motivate girls to reject food. The policy manager at YoungMinds, Chris Leaman, said: “This doll sends the wrong message to children and encourages them to think that refusing food is normal behaviour. We would not want children to be influenced by this, and are concerned that it promotes unhealthy attitudes towards food and body image.”

The charity Beat, which campaigns on anorexia and bulimia, stated: “Research shows young children are becoming aware of body image at a much earlier age. A doll that refuses food is hardly a good example to them”. Anita Worcester, of eating disorder charity SWEDA, said: “Promoting what is basically an anorexic doll seems unhealthy”.

On the contrary, the UK marketing director for Famosa, Nikki Jeffery, claimed that Nenuco represents the actual difficulties mothers encounter when trying to feed a baby. She concluded: “We know that children often don’t eat what they are given, but the doll is designed to show them how important it is that they eat properly. It is about enabling young girls to have the closest experience possible to being a “real mum”. We are not encouraging children not to eat. The idea is that the child understands the doll is being mischievous and that the child encourages the doll to eat the food, just as a parent does with their child.”

Nenuco doll among 37 new toys are expected by the British Toy & Hobby Association to be sold well this year.