A SHOCKED pensioner has been left horrified after a letter was handed to him, informing him of his own death.

John Wilson, 83, of Lon-Y-Gors, Pensarn in Abergele, was left in disbelief when he was sent a notification from Phoenix Life Limited telling him that he had passed away.

The letter was addressed to John’s ex-wife, Doreen Wilson, also 83, and arrived at the couple’s former address in Blaenau Ffestiniog. John’s stepson David Evans lives in the property and passed on the correspondence to Mr Wilson.

The letter, dated September 5, said: “We have been notified of the death of Mr John Bradford Wilson.

“I am sorry to hear of the death of Mr John Bradford Wilson and would like to offer my deepest sympathy.

“I appreciate that this is a difficult time and in order to update our record and proceed further, I would be grateful if you could let me have the following documents [the original death certificate].”

The couple divorced in 2000 but Mrs Wilson moved to Abergele two years ago. John has been in his house for about 18 years.

He said: “I had to laugh really when I saw the letter. You’ve got to have a sense of humour – I thought it was might be a joke.

“Of course I am not dead, I am fully alive. I want to know why this has happened. My ex-wife is so worried about it and my daughter thought it was unbelievable,” Mr Wilson said.

“I have no idea how they have obtained my details, whether it is a mistake or it could be a scam.

“I don’t think Doreen has seen the letter, but she is aware and was upset when we told her. She said it could be the council checking up on us, making sure we were still on our own.

“We are not with the company. I just want an apology or an explanation from the company. I was getting really angry about it.

“To read about your own death, you think ‘something is going on here’. It concerns you. I phoned. Then my daughter phoned. I have phoned another two or three times but I’ve had no satisfaction.”

A spokesman for the Phoenix Group said: “At Phoenix we operate a process which checks that our customers who receive an annuity payment are still entitled to do so.

“This is an industry-recognised process which is designed to ensure that our customer records are as up to date as possible, ensuring that payment is not disrupted.

“It appears the letter that was issued was as a result of an inexact match to Mr J B Wilson’s details.

“We do acknowledge that this letter will have caused Mr Wilson and his family a great deal of distress.

“We are extremely sorry for the upset this has caused and will fully investigate how this occurred. We will also contact Mr Wilson to ensure he is compensated.”