A PENSIONS BOMBSHELL has hit the Inland Revenue today after it announced that a computer error has r...
A PENSIONS BOMBSHELL has hit the Inland Revenue today after it announced that a computer error has resulted in overpayments of tax rebates to savers who opted out of SERPS in the past five years.
THE TIMES SAYS that the mistake could cost the insurance industry £50m after the Revenue made clear it expects to get the money back.
The cost stems from the fact most of the overpaid rebates have been invested in the stock market, which has fallen significantly since March 2000 - losing almost a third this year alone.
If the original sums have to be repaid, then it is up to the insurers to cover the difference between what the investments are worth today and the sums that the Revenue wants back.
The rebate error is being blamed on a faulty Revenue computer system.
THE TOP JOB at troubled Royal & Sun Alliance is likely to go to one of two executives from insurer Direct Line (DL), the FT reports.
The paper names them as Ian Chippendale, executive chairman of DL, and its former finance director Steve Clarke.
However, R&SA is unlikely to name a successor to Bob Mendelsohn anytime soon: results are due on Thursday this week, but it is unlikely that R&SA chairman Patrick Gillam - himself on the way out by next year - is going to announce any major changes at the top.
ACCORDING TO The Daily Telegraph, R&SA is set to scrap its £1bn rights issue because it has missed the boat - other companies have already tapped the market - which means the firm has to find other was to boost its reserves in the face of costs such as those associated with Asbestosis litigation claims.
The company is likely to consider selling assets, perhaps taking a leaf out of rival Aviva's book and flogging its Australasian assets.
ANOTHER ABERDEEN FUND is in danger of going bust according to today's The Scotsman, which says an internal note by a London-based stockbroker harbours doubts about AAM's High Yield Bond fund.
The stockbroker is recommending clients exit the fund as soon as possible because it is sitting on a large number of Argentinian and telecoms bonds that trade at as little as 15% of face value.
The Scotsman says the news is particularly distressing for retail investors, many of whom have been recommended to switch out of equities into bond funds, without realising that there are risks there too.
Paul Bruns and Elaine Parkes
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