In the dark about finances

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The Independent Online
THE BRITISH are anxious about money but ignorant about some basic aspects of their finances, according to the results of two surveys issued this week.

A survey by Market Opinion Research International (Mori) for the insurance company Scottish Amicable shows ignorance about sick-pay entitlements, while a separate survey by the life insurance division of Barclays Bank shows that many people are not preparing adequately for retirement.

The Mori research showed that a quarter of employees do not know how much sick pay they are entitled to. One in five say that their employer would pay them for less than a month or not at all.

The highest degree of ignorance about sick pay entitlements was among households with incomes of less than pounds 13,500.

Only one in ten people have an insurance policy that would cover them if they were off work through illness, although higher earners are more likely to have the cover than people on lower incomes.

According to Mori's research, the British are relatively uninterested in seeking advice about the best way to save money and three quarters have not sought any advice in the past year. Half the population has been approached by a financial consultant at some time in the past and just over 40 per cent had received advice.

Overall, the British are much more worried about money than they were two years ago.

Worries about unemployment and the increased cost of living were the main reasons for insecurity.

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