UK - Alliance Boots is leaving itself open to mis-selling claims from its thousands of pensioners after it offered to change the way their plans are paid, its former finance chief said yesterday.
The company has written to members of its retirement scheme offering a "pension increase exchange".
Under the proposal, members would be handed a one-off increase to the value of their pensions in place of future inflation-linked increases.
But Boots former head of corporate finance John Ralfe and now an independent pension consultant, said yesterday: "The exchange is not neutral for pensioners - the company is giving only 60% of the value of expected increases and keeping 40% for itself.
"Even those pensioners who live to the average age will be worse off and those living longer than average will be much worse off."
He said the firm's pensioners were being asked to make an extremely difficult decision based on their view of future inflation and how long they, and their spouses, will live.
He claimed Alliance Boots "leaves itself open to misselling claims from pensioners and elderly widows who find themselves living too long".
An Alliance Boots statement confirmed it had written to current pensioners and dependant members of the Boots Pension Scheme offering them a pension increase exchange.
"This offer has been made in order to provide current pensioner and dependant members of the scheme with greater flexibility and choice over their pension payments, while also managing the scheme's funding position and the risks associated with its pension liabilities more effectively," the statement said.
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