Equitable Life savers get surprise pension boost

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The Independent Online

Equitable Life is to boost payouts to 400,000 policyholders by 12.5 per cent. The insurer said it will make the payments from 1 April after rebuilding its capital position over several years. Chief executive Chris Wiscarson said: "We're very pleased to be able to get money back to policyholders after 10 years of distress."

He said the payouts would cost the insurer around £1bn and that 30,000 policyholders would gain an extra £40m in the next year.

Members will have the bonus added to their with-profits policies on maturity or on leaving the society. But those who have already left the insurer will get nothing.

Paul Braithwaite, general secretary of the Equitable Members Action Group (Emag) said: "It's a step in the right direction but doesn't do anything for the 900,000 people who have already left . In the grand scale of things there's still a festering injustice."

Emag continues to campaign for more redress from the Government.

Mr Wiscarson said the insurer was trying to draw a line over past mistakes. "We got stuck in to de-risk the capital to create sustainable returns for policyholders," he said.

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