Over 70s should check their pension receipts

Deal of the week

Pre-pay mobile phone users who are tired of the exorbitant charges applied for internet use on their mobiles should check out Meteor's Anytime Choice offer of free internet and Meteor texts. There is a download limit of 250 megabytes per 30 days applied but if you are using your phone to check emails or look at websites on the go (as opposed to downloading music), you'll find it very hard to get anywhere near that.

Tip of the week

Anyone over 70 who is in receipt of a pension should make sure that they scan their pensioner slip closely to ensure that they are not over-contributing to the public coffers. The Health Levy does not apply to anyone over that age but one 'Sunday Tribune' reader recently found that his payroll company had, unbeknownst to him, been deducting the levy for six months after his 70th birthday. When the mistake was initially pointed out, the payroll company insisted he was wrong but three days later refunded the amount in full (€500). It pays to be vigilant.

Bad value of the week

The trade in illegal cigarettes here continues apace with the government losing out on more than €556 million in lost revenue last year as a result. Counterfeit cigarettes may be considerably cheaper but be very wary if you are tempted to indulge: the poor quality of counterfeit cigarettes could be putting your health in even greater jeopardy. If you can't afford to smoke legally, then maybe it's time to think about giving up.

Recession rates

Personal Loan Rates*

Variable rates

AIB 10.1%

ACC 11.46%

NIB 11.47%

Fixed rates

NIB 10.75%

Bank of Ireland 11.40%

Ulster Bank 11.90%

*Based on a €20,000 loan over five years (60 payments)