The timetable for the deal has slipped by several weeks, and Scottish Widows will not give a firm date for the special general meeting it must hold in order to finalise the deal.
Under the original proposals for the pounds 5.7bn payout, Scottish Widows policyholders were due to receive a detailed circular giving the small print on the deal several weeks ago. A special general meeting and vote on the takeover was planned for this month. But policyholders have yet to receive the circular document - and there has to be a gap of several weeks between sending out the circular and holding the meeting.
The life company says it hopes to hold the meeting before the end of the year. A Scottish Widows spokeswoman said the transfer of the business was still expected to be completed in early 2000.
About 1.6 million qualifying policyholders at Scottish Widows are likely to get a flat-rate payment of pounds 500 as a one-off windfall for giving up their membership stake in the mutual insurer. Of those, 900,000 have money invested in the firm's giant with-profits fund, and they will get extra payments - some as much as pounds 40,000.