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Advisers tell clients to snub ScotLife takeover vote

IFAs are advising clients to boycott the Scottish Life takeover vote after being told many with-profits policyholders are not members of the mutual org- anisation and will miss out on windfalls.

An information booklet on ScotLife&#39s £1.1bn buyout by Royal London shows that a number of personal pension schemes do not qualify for membership.

ScotLife is the trustee of these schemes and therefore the member.

This means the policyholders will not be entitled to the £500 compensation for loss of membership rights or be able to vote on the deal.

IFAs are furious that many long-standing policyholders do not qualify and are urging fellow members to boycott the vote.

Many independent advisers says they were totally unaware the policies did not qualify and if they had known they may have recommended a rival provider. They are now advising all their clients not to participate in the vote unless it is fair to all policyholders.

Lilley Cohen & Partners managing director Tony Cohen says: “I feel that I have been completely misled. ScotLife sells itself as the pension company.

“I have long-standing, loyal clients who have felt part of this organisation. This will damage Scot-Life&#39s relationship with advisers.”

Jonathan Smith & Partners proprietor Jonathan Smith says: “If a client has voting rights, we would ask them to vote against the deal until this situation is made clearer.”

ScotLife head of communications Alasdair Buch- anan says: “Membership is immaterial in qualifying for the with-profits policy enhancements.

“Our membership rules follow our constitution which is set down by an act of Parliament.

“We are now embarking on a process to make sure the interests of all members and policyholders are properly protected.”

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