Equitable Life's chief executive Charles Thomson has assured the UK's institutional pension funds that the with profits fund remains solvent though he admitted the margin is very thin.
Thomson, in response to questions at the NAPF, said the society meets its required minimum margin. He blamed economic conditions for Equitable's continuing financial difficulties.
He said: “My sorrow is that the economic conditions of last year went so profoundly against us. It is not a rosy story and we still have a very low free asset ratio but if we get some reasonable investment returns we can come through this.”
He is also writing to with-profit annuitants to tell them that little can be done to make the situation more attractive for them.