May 22 2013 Latest news:
Ed Foss, Senior writer
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The way in which payments will be made to Equitable Life policyholders after a more than a decade of arguing, court action and debate has been announced.
The details of how the government scheme will work have been published by Mark Hoban MP, financial secretary to the treasury.
The Equitable Life Payment Scheme design document sets out rules, administration, timetable and the methodology behind loss and payment calculations.
It also details the approach to making payments, details of the queries and complaints procedure and plans for communicating with policyholders.
And in line with Mr Hoban’s ambition to start making payments by the middle of this year, the scheme is on track to make the first payments before the end of June.
Mr Hoban said: “I am setting out the design of the scheme for parliament, policyholders and all other interested parties to see.
“This is a complex issue, but the scheme has been designed to reflect the principles of fairness, transparency and simplicity.
“When payments start in the middle of this year it will be a huge milestone for the policyholders who have waited so many years for the resolution of this matter.”
Policyholders do not need to do anything at this stage, the scheme will contact them in the first instance to provide further information.
The details of the scheme reveals that regardless of circumstances, payments cannot be brought forward on grounds of hardship, but the rules give priority to those payments considered most urgent.
This includes prioritising some older policyholders for earlier payment and prioritising payments to estates, since the process is likely to take time.
Where a person who would have been due a payment is dead, payments will be made to that person’s estate.