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Equitable accused of putting a blockon information

Consulting actuaries Punter Southall has accused Equitable Life of holding back information which could be beneficial to its members.

The firm says it has pushed Equitable for information on a number of issues on behalf of its clients and found that even good news for members is not being disclosed. It says bonus details are not being given out readily.

It says it was only after lengthy talks that Equitable Life confirmed that all policyholders as at July 20 will qualify for windfall bonuses unless they make voluntary withdrawals.

The decision means members who retire or die before the sale of the company is completed will still retain the right to windfalls. This means people can plan retirement knowing they still have their entitlements. Equitable told Punter Southall this news would not be made public, saying only information applicable to the majority of members would be released.

Principal Ronnie Sloan says: “We should not have to extract information from them in such a laborious fashion. They still seem to have no intention of stating their position clearly to all policyholders and advisers.”

Equitable Life says it is not practical to cover every area of policy queries. A helpline is available which offers information to members. The telephone number for specific policy queriesis 01296-563000.

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