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Equitable Life Payment Scheme

Volume 538: debated on Wednesday 11 January 2012

The Treasury can confirm that the Equitable Life payment scheme is making high volumes of automated payments—10,000 this week alone.

The Equitable Life payment scheme is due to make in the region of £1.5 billion worth of payments. This represents a significant logistical exercise, which requires complex systems to be established to not only make payments but also respond to the resultant policyholder queries. The Government met their commitment to start making payments by the middle of last year and high volumes of automated payments are now being made.

Many thousands of payments a week are being made and the volume will continue to be ramped up. This means that over the coming months hundreds of thousands more eligible policyholders will receive their payment from the scheme. These payments will be made in accordance with the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Equitable Life payments. The Treasury has also confirmed that the first payments to with-profits annuitants have also commenced, and over 3,000 annuitants have already had their first payment issued.

The scheme is making good progress in paying out the £500 million provided for this financial year by the 2010 spending review, and as part of the Government’s commitment to transparency, the scheme will be publishing a more detailed report on the scheme to date. This report will be made available via the scheme’s website in the coming weeks.

Eligible policyholders that have not received payment yet need not do anything—the scheme has policyholders’ details from Equitable Life and the Prudential and will contact all the eligible policyholders it can by June 2012 at the latest.