Regulator rues the trials of life

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THE PENSIONS Ombudsman spoke last week of his frustration at the years of delay facing members of company pension schemes managed by Century Life, the insurance company which is winding them up, writes Nic Cicutti.

Michael Platt has received increasing numbers of complaints about the schemes, acquired by Century Life from Crown in early 1993.

Among those battling to recover their occupational pensions from Century Life are about 60 former employees of a Hertfordshire electronics firm which went into receivership almost three years ago.

The redundant staff, who worked for Stag Microsystems, in Welwyn Garden City, have formed an action group. Bruce Piggott, a former electronic engineer at Stag Microsystems, said: 'We are trying to trace every member of staff who belonged to the scheme.'

Problems have been caused by the fact that the list of scheme members is inaccurate. Some people were not on the list at all. One person, who changed sex, is named twice - under his former male name and his new female one.

A Century Life spokesman said the scale of the problems was unforeseen when the pension schemes were taken over from Crown. The company was now pouring massive resources into resolving the matter.

STOP - Stag's Trouble Over Pensions Group: 0707 331340.