I have received the enclosed update from Ministers:
Re: EQUITABLE LIFE PAYMENT SCHEME
I know that the progress of the Equitable Life Payment Scheme (“the Scheme”) is of interest to colleagues, so I am writing to you today to inform you of its closure and what it has achieved.
As announced by the then Chancellor in the Summer Budget 2015, the Scheme closed to new claims on 31 December 2015. From the beginning of 2016, the Scheme began the process of winding down and completing all remaining claims. As the majority of these claims have now been paid, the Scheme has published today its final progress report, which can be found at www.gov.uk/equitable-life-payment-scheme.
The report gives an outline of the history of the Scheme, details the significant efforts that have been made to trace and pay as many policyholders as possible, and provides a distributional analysis of the payments that the Scheme has made over its four years of operation.
The report gives the final figures compiled by the Scheme, which show that, as at 31 August 2016, the Scheme had issued payments of over £1.12 billion to 932,805 policyholders. This means the Scheme has now issued payments to 90% of eligible policyholders. All the payments issued by the Scheme have been free of tax.
It should be noted that the closure of the Scheme to new claims will not affect the yearly payments made by the Scheme to With-Profits Annuitants, which will continue for the duration of those annuities. The Scheme has written individually to all With-Profits Annuitants to make them aware of this.
I hope this information is of use to you and your constituents.
Simon Kirby MP
Economic Secretary to the Treasury