Guidance

Equitable Life Payment Scheme

Find out more information on the Equitable Life Payment Scheme.

The Equitable Life Payment Scheme has closed. It is no longer possible to make a claim from the scheme or request a recalculation of the amount of money received from it.

The Equitable Life Payment Scheme (the scheme) was set up by government to make payments to Equitable Life policyholders in respect of relative loss they suffered on their investments following government maladministration in the regulatory returns of the Equitable Life Assurance Society between 1992-2000.

The final progress report of the scheme was issued in November 2016 and provides a brief history of the scheme together with an analysis of how payments were distributed by size of payment.

More detail on how relative loss was calculated can be found in the scheme design and additional information on the payment calculation.

Closure of the scheme

As announced by the Chancellor in the Summer Budget 2015, the Equitable Life Payment Scheme closed to new claims on 31 December 2015.

It is now too late to make a claim for initial payment or to request the reissue of an out-of-date warrant for an initial payment.

The annual payments to With-Profits Annuitants will continue unaffected for the duration of the eligible annuity or annuities. If you are receiving payments in respect of an eligible With-Profits Annuity, these will be paid annually in arrears in May, covering the previous 1 January to 31 December.

Ordinarily payments are made into UK bank accounts, if you have given the scheme your bank details.

If you have received a payment from the scheme, you must cash it within 3 months from the date of issue.

Contacting the scheme if your circumstances change

The scheme closed to all new claims on 31 December 2015. If you have not yet made initial contact with the scheme and informed them of your Equitable Life policy number, it is now too late to do so.

If you do not have an eligible With-Profits Annuity policy, you do not need to inform the scheme of any change in your details.

If you do hold an eligible With-Profits Annuity policy, you will need to inform the scheme of any changes in your circumstances to ensure that you receive your annual payments from the scheme.

You can find what type of policy you hold from your original Equitable Life documentation.

You will need to inform the scheme if any of the following circumstances change:

  • a change of name or address
  • a change of bank account
  • the death of one or more named individual on a policy
  • implementation of a Power of Attorney, or a Deputyship ordered by the Court of Protection

You must provide certified copies of original documents as evidence of these changes.

Documents that can be used as proof of address and identity

If you are having difficulty in providing the information or documentation required, you should contact the scheme to ensure your change of circumstances can be processed as quickly as possible.

If the scheme asks you to provide further information or documentation, you should send this information within two weeks of the request. Representatives of deceased policyholders, because of the administrative arrangements they face, have 1 calendar month to respond from the date of a request from the scheme.

By post

Please write to the scheme at:

Equitable Life Payment Scheme
PO Box 414
11b Lingfield Point
Darlington
DL1 9WN

By email

Please email the scheme at:

ELPSenquiries@capita.co.uk

Please quote your full name, address and your Equitable Life policy number in all correspondence.

Contacting Equitable Life if you have any other questions about your policy

The Equitable Life Payment Scheme was a government scheme and had no association with the Equitable Life Assurance Society. As such, the scheme cannot answer questions about Equitable Life products such as policy valuations or policy transfers. If you have any such questions, do not write to the Scheme, but instead contact Equitable Life at:

Equitable Life Assurance Society, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 7QW

Telephone: 0330 159 1530 Email: enquiries@equitable.co.uk

When you tell us that a With-Profits Annuitant has died

If you are the executor of a deceased policyholder

If you are an executor or administrator of an eligible estate and you have not heard anything from the scheme, you should contact the scheme as soon as possible by post to confirm the eligibility of the policy in question. You will then be advised of the next steps to take.

Representatives or executors requested to provide information or documentation by the scheme must send this information within 1 calendar month of the date of the request. This is so that the scheme is able to process and issue payments efficiently as it closes down.

Policyholders experiencing difficulty in providing the information or documentation requested should contact the scheme to ensure their payment can be processed.

When the payee on a policy dies, his or her estate will typically receive a final payment. The rules on these payments for With-Profits Annuitants are as follows:

  • for single life annuities, if the policyholder dies during the 5 year period in which payments for past loss are being made, the estate of the policyholder will then receive the remainder of any unpaid past loss and any remaining unpaid future loss, to date of death (or fixed guarantee term), as a lump sum
  • for joint life annuities, if the first annuitant on the policy dies, the estate of the first annuitant will receive the remainder of any unpaid past loss and any remaining unpaid accrued future loss as a lump sum. If there is a surviving second annuitant for whom future losses then start to accrue, the payment of these losses will begin to be paid to the second annuitant one year in arrears. On the death of the second annuitant, any remaining unpaid future losses will be paid to the estate of that annuitant
  • the terms “past loss” and “future loss” used in this description are defined in the scheme design

Pre-1992 With-Profits Annuities (WPAs)

The Equitable Life Payment Scheme only covers policies issued after 1 September 1992. In December 2013 HM Treasury issued payments to all pre-September 1992 annuitants who were eligible under the separate scheme announced in the 2013 Budget Statement.

Published 1 July 2014
Last updated 1 August 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated contact details
  2. Further details of scheme closure published
  3. New sentence added: If you have received a payment from the Scheme, you must cash it within 3 months from the date of issue.
  4. Updated as the scheme has now closed.
  5. Updated with closure notice
  6. Group (company pension) scheme policies information updated.
  7. Link to the latest (November 2015) progress report added.
  8. Information added on how the closure of the scheme will be administered.
  9. Added translation
  10. Information on the closure of the scheme to new claims and the further payments to policyholders on Pension Credit - as announced at Summer Budget 2015.
  11. Link to June 2015 progress report added.
  12. Link to latest progress report added
  13. Information added on how the Equitable Life Payment Scheme is working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to try to contact the policyholders who remain unpaid.
  14. Call centre opening hours added
  15. Updated to includes example of overview of the payment calculation
  16. Link to latest progress report (July 2014) added.
  17. First published.