COMMONS

Equitable Life Payment Scheme: a follow-up

Inquiry status: Inquiry launched.

Background

The Equitable Life Payment Scheme was set up by the government in 2011 to provide ex gratia payments to policyholders of the Equitable Life Assurance Society (ELAS). Policyholders of ELAS had paid contributions into investments or pensions over the course of their working lives to provide them with retirement income. Many policy holders saw their investment or retirement income fall dramatically when ELAS had to close to new business. HM Treasury was given powers to make just over a million payments. The Treasury engaged National Savings and Investments (NS&I) to be its partner to operate the Scheme.

The Committee published its report on Administering the Equitable Life Payment Scheme in July 2013. The Committee raised concerns regarding the number of eligible policyholders who the Scheme was estimating would never be traced and, therefore would not receive payment. In addition, the issue regarding the transparency of payment calculations was explored. The Committee also questioned the government’s original desire to close the Scheme by April 2013. The Government Response to the Committee Report was included in the Treasury Minute published in November 2013.

This follow-up inquiry will allow the Committee to examine the progress made to date.

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  • Equitable Life recall | PDF version (PDF130 KB) HC 1275 | Published 21 May 2014

    Evidence given by Jane Platt, Chief Executive, National Savings and Investments; Mike Williams, Director, Business and International Tax, HM Treasury