Cashpoints: Best and worst in pensions

BEST investment research has produced an independent guide outlining the personal pensions that offer wide investment choice, low costs and flexibility. The guide also lists pensions to avoid. It costs pounds 10. Ring 0171-321 0100.

Most people find investment performance statistics baffling. A guide from Midland Bank manages to demystify the jargon. For a free copy call 0800 180180.

If you are still looking for a final PEP, the Money Marketing Focus survey has full performance figures for the last 10 years and highlights best buys. Produced by a trade magazine for financial professionals, the survey also offers details of the cheapest PEPs. Call 0171-292 3730.

Abbey National has launched its euro mortgage, with a variable interest rate of 4.57 per cent APR. This rate is set quarterly and is directly linked to euro money market rates. The catch is it is only available to customers who are paid in euros, or a currency pegged against the euro. Ring 0800 100807.

Egg, the Prudential's direct banking arm, has introduced new lower rates on loans. The rates are among the lowest on the market. Customers can take payment breaks and there are no penalties for early redemption. Loan rates start at 15.7 per cent for pounds 1,000 to pounds 2,499 and drop to 10.2 per cent interest for amounts over pounds 10,000. Call 0845 600 0291 for details or www.egg.com.

Premier Fund Managers has launched the Euro 100 fund, based on the shares of the 100 largest European companies. Premier believes this fund will offer UK investors the chance to benefit from mega-mergers and takeovers across Europe. There is a 5 per cent initial charge with a 1 per cent opening discount. The fund is PEPable with a minimum lump sum of pounds 1,000 or pounds 50 per month. Call 0800 212577.

n If you are coming up to retirement and worried about falling annuity rates, you may want to consider with-profits annuities. Chartwell Investment Management, a fee-based firm of financial advisers in Bath, has produced a comprehensive guide to annuities and all other retirement options. The guide normally costs pounds 5 but is currently available free. Call 01225 321700.

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