Despite difficult conditions in the global financial markets, people aged 50 and over may be able to take advantage of certain benefits exclusively available to them.
Saga, whose services are specifically designed for this age group, has launched a new Saga savings account
, the Online Top 5 Tracker Account. It offers the over 50s a rate that is guaranteed to be no lower than 0.25 per cent below the average of the top five variable internet savings accounts
, which is currently 6.25 per cent gross (6.43 per cent AER).
The guarantee is effective until June 1st 2010, and existing Saga customers will automatically receive the new rate. Customers can apply for the account online and the account can be accessed online at any time of the day or night. There are no restrictions for transactions, so funds can be moved around freely and up to £5 million can be kept in the account.
According to Saga, "The new guarantee gives people the peace of mind that with the Saga online top 5 tracker account they are receiving a consistently competitive rate on their savings not just a high headline rate that could be arbitrarily cut at anytime."
Spokesperson Andrew Goodsell adds: "Unlike many providers, we aren't just offering this rate to new customers; all of our existing online savings account customers will also automatically receive this enhanced rate."
Meanwhile, those approaching retirement could also benefit from higher payouts on pension annuities
. According to figures from financial services provider Hargreaves Lansdown, rates are now at a four-year high. It reports that there have been 16 annuity rate rises in just the last four weeks as insurance companies compete for market share and strive to boost their books amid difficult circumstances.
Pensions analyst Nigel Callaghan says: "Income from annuities increased by an average of six per cent last year. This increased value for money has continued into 2008. There seems to be a price war being waged amongst the top annuity insurance companies."