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Pensioner Inflation

Inflation is a deadly enemy for pensioners, who often have fixed incomes or rely on interest from savings to make ends meet. So there is no surprise that the fall in the CPI (consumer price index) inflation rate to 4% announced yesterday (12 April 2011), will not have them jumping for joy.

Inflation is a deadly enemy for pensioners, who often have fixed incomes or rely on interest from savings to make ends meet. So there is no surprise that the fall in the CPI (consumer price index) inflation rate to 4% announced yesterday (12 April 2011), will not have them jumping for joy.

According to the "Silver RPI" from Age UK, the charity, the real inflation rate for the over-75s is 4.1 percentage points higher than the regular retail price index.

According to the Bank of England, gas prices are likely to rise by 10pc over the coming months and Pensioners tend to be particularly hard hit because of the time spent at home.

Internet surfers are used to shopping around for the best tariffs on price comparison websites. Many pensioners have not gone online, but they don't need the internet to get the best deal on gas and electricity.

Some price comparison companies offer the service by telephone. One is Energyhelpline (0800 074 0745), which is accredited by Consumer Focus, the official watchdog. An Energyhelpline adviser said the phone-based service offered access to all the tariffs available online but callers had the additional benefit of receiving individual advice.

Grants to improve your heating system and home insulation are still available if you are of state pension age and receive certain state benefits, including the pension credit. The scheme is called Warm Front and is available to those living in England.

But it's worth getting your skates on – the Government has announced the scheme's abolition, although Warm Front said it was still taking new applications and all existing ones would be completed.

With interest rates on bank and building society accounts so low there has never been a more important time to save money on your bills and to look at alternatives investments to boost income.

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