EQUITABLE LIFE gave policyholders a much-needed boost yesterday by increasing their bonuses and arguing the society was £166m stronger than last year, according to this morning's papers.
The insurer said pension holders' bonuses had been increased to 3.5% from 2.5% while holders of life insurance savings plans will see an increase to 2.8% from 2%, although the bonuses are not guaranteed, says the Daily Telegraph.
Early exit penalties have been cut to 8% from 11.1%, making it easier for policyholders who want to leave before their policies mature to withdraw their funds.
EQUITABLE ALSO insisted yesterday it would press on with its £1.7bn negligence suit against its former directors, despite last week abandoning a separate £2bn claim against its former auditors, Ernst & Young, reports the Times.
Speculation has been rife this week over claims the mutual society is close to reaching a settlement with at least three of the 15 directors, but chief executive Charles Thomson said yesterday Equitable would continue with proceedings when the case resumed in the High Court on October 10.
Unveiling the mutual society’s interim results yesterday, Mr Thomson rejected calls for his resignation over the E&Y claim debacle, in which Equitable had to pay the auditor £795,616 to settle. Nor would Vanni Treves, chairman, leave the society, despite policyholders’ demands for his head, Mr Thomson said. Instead, he said they were concentrating on the future of the mutual and looking at options including a sale or unitisation of the business.
A GROUP of leading City investors has summoned the chairman of Misys and its senior non-executive director to explain the reasons for the software company's poor performance recently, reports the Guardian.
The Association of British Insurers is writing to Kevin Lomax, Misys chairman, and Sir Dominic Cadbury to ask them to a meeting to explain the company's profit warning this month and outline their plans to appoint a new chief executive.
Misys's share price has fallen dramatically from more than 300p two years ago to just above 200p now. At the same time, a controversial bonus for Mr Lomax's two deputies highlighted what investors regard as a vacuum at the top of the company. Faced by huge opposition from shareholders, the firm withdrew the incentive scheme. Days later, Misys stunned the City with a profits warning which knocked 17% off its share price in one day.
THE LATEST longevity figures have fuelled UK pension fears, says the Financial Times.
A British man born in 1950 will live, on average, to just two months short of his 90th birthday, with far-reaching implications for pensions and the definition of old age, according to new data released on Thursday.
The data from the Continuous Mortality Investigations Bureau should have a broad impact on company pension schemes which are already struggling with large funding deficits. Most corporate pension schemes already base their liability estimates on outdated projections for longevity.
The new life expectancy data are also likely to fuel the debate about state pension age, which the CBI employers' group now says should be raised to 70.
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