Helen Nugent

Energy profits, pensions, financial education and housing

The Government is to investigate claims that energy providers are pocketing larger profits than they have previously admitted, according to The Sun.

The newspaper says that gas and electricity firms may be netting six times more than they state. But trade group Energy UK rejected The Sun‘s claims, saying they were ‘a misrepresentation of the facts’.

However, using figures published in a report commissioned by Energy UK from the accountancy firm PwC, The Sun says that suppliers could be making a 24 per cent profit margin. This compares to a 4 per cent profit margin on the price of a typical dual fuel bill which has been recorded by the regulator, Ofgem.

Now the business secretary, Greg Clark, will examine the claims. Pensions Large number of employers could have been incorrectly issued with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of auto-enrolment fines, according to new research by payroll and pensions platform, Paycircle. According to a recent report from The Pensions Regulator, more than eight in ten businesses that sought a review of penalty notices they’d received had them either altered or rescinded completely. Fewer than one in five of these statutory notices, which include Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN), Compliance Notices and Escalating Penalty Notices were confirmed — or enforced — following the Regulator’s review process. With nearly 7,000 FPN handed out since the start of the auto-enrolment process, this could mean hundreds of thousands of pounds have been incorrectly paid by businesses since July 2012.

Financial education

Teenagers aged 16 and 17 require financial education before becoming adults, according to research by the Money Advice Service.

Amid fears they are poorly equipped to deal with financial issues, Money Advice Service says that a third of this age group had never put money in a bank account and two-thirds could not read a payslip. The BBC reports that concerns have been raised as these youngsters are just months away from having access to credit.

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