Arts and Entertainment Everything but the sink: 1646 kitchen scene by the Flemish painter David Teniers the Younger, now restored to Robert Walpole’s former Norfolk home

As it did 250 years ago, Velázquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X peers into the gloom at Houghton Hall. It is an extraordinary image in an extraordinary space.

Slump for annuity rates deals blow to pension pots

Annuity payouts slumped by 11.5 per cent last year, their biggest fall since 1998. Rates have now fallen in 15 of the past 18 years and the average annual annuity income is less than half what it was in 1994, according to Moneyfacts.

Falling annuities deliver another blow to retirees

Annuity payouts slumped by 11.5 per cent last year, their biggest fall since 1998. Rates have now fallen in 15 out of the past 18 years and the average annual annuity income is less than half what it was in 1994, according to Moneyfacts.

Global bonds climb despite downgrades

The safety of bonds took a hit 12 months ago. But they have proved an essential part of investors' plans

Pension schemes' deficit hits record high of £312bn

The deficit in UK pension schemes hit a record high of £312.1bn in May, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) reported yesterday.

Deficit in UK pension schemes widens to a record £312.1 billion

The deficit in UK pension schemes hit a record high of £312.1bn in May, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) reported yesterday.

Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente celebrates after he scored against SCP Sporting during their Europa League yesterday

Llorente takes Athletic Bilbao through to all-Spanish Europa League final

A dramatic winner from Fernando Llorente with two minutes to go sent Athletic Bilbao through to the Europa League final, where they will face fellow Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

Row brews over Bank of England's £50bn QE boost

Over a million pensioners will be poorer as they have bought annuities at artificially depressed rates

Annuity rate dive will hit millions of retirees short

The fall in gilt yields will reduce pension incomes, so it's more important than ever to choose the right product. By Julian Knight

Sangakkara spurns gilt-edged chance to put record straight

On American Independence Day next month, Kumar Sangakkara will deliver the Cowdrey Spirit of Cricket Lecture at Lord's. It will be full of wit and wisdom, aperçus and aphorisms because Sangakkara is a clever, articulate and thoughtful chap.

An Ideal Husband, Vaudeville Theatre, London

A couple not unconnected with a certain "cash for questions" scandal caught the eye amongst the first-night guests at Lindsay Posner's revival of An Ideal Husband. Securing their presence was a mischievous touch, for political sleaze is the perennially topical subject of Wilde's play. Its protagonist, Sir Robert Chiltern, owes his high-flying career to having sold a Cabinet secret in his ambitious youth. He faces ruin and the collapse of his marriage to the idealistic Lady Chiltern when the blackmailing Mrs Cheveley descends on London.

Pension liabilities hit a record high

The liabilities faced by defined benefit pension schemes soared to a record high during August as market conditions continued to deteriorate, according to Aon Consulting.

Bank says QE cut rates by 1 per cent

Research published by the Bank of England suggests the Bank's policy of quantitative easing – the direct injection of money into the economy – reduced interest rates by about 1 percentage point.

The Sonnets: 33

By William Shakespeare

The Sonnets: 20

By William Shakespeare

Jeremy Warner: Printing money seems powerless to halt rise in gilt yields

Outlook No wonder the Bank of England is stepping up its programme of "quantitative easing" (QE). Proving the old stock market saying that it is better to travel in anticipation than actually to arrive, gilt yields fell precipitously ahead of the formal announcement of QE, under which the Bank of England is expanding the money supply by buying shed loads of gilt-edged stocks. But they have been rising steadily more or less ever since and after another surge yesterday, the yield on the benchmark 10-year gilt is now higher than before the programme began. The rise has been particularly acute since the Budget, which laid out in glorious Technicolor quite how shockingly large gilt issuance is going to be in future years.

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