Policyholders backing Equitable's scheme

More than eight out of 10 Equitable Life policyholders support most aspects of the compromise proposal the mutual insurer has formulated to stem the society's liabilities and enhance its investment freedom.

More than eight out of 10 Equitable Life policyholders support most aspects of the compromise proposal the mutual insurer has formulated to stem the society's liabilities and enhance its investment freedom.

The finding, drawn from responses by 24,000 policyholders, is the most comprehensive indication yet that the scheme will be passed when it is put to the vote by all with-profit members in December.

Support for the scheme was high across the board, and the lowest approval was for the level of uplift offered to policyholders without a guaranteed annuity rate (GAR). Slightly more than eight in 10 respondents support the proposed average uplift of 2.5 per cent of the value of their fund. Equitable said still higher numbers favour the offer for non-GARs of an average 17.5 per cent increase, with nine in 10 policyholders who have sent letters or e-mails, or who phoned Equitable, saying they backed the level of uplift.

Many non-GARs were initially disappointed when the draft scheme was published a month ago because the offer was less than initial indications that they would receive 20 per cent in return for giving up valuable annuity guarantees, which tend to be 30 per cent higher than annuities available from other providers. But the sample of policyholders suggests the prevailing feeling is that reaching a compromise to cap Equitable's liabilities is vital, with almost 10 out of 10 respondents in favouring. The data does not show the proportions of GARs and non-GARs among respondents, and does not relate to the value of their funds. These details will be important when it comes to the vote, because 50 per cent of both groups by number and 75 per cent by value must ratify the compromise.

But the level of support for the scheme also indicates that it is very unlikely Equitable will adjust its terms when it issues the final proposal late next month. The society had said it was receptive to suggestions for changes and has held 18 meetings around the country with policyholders. But prospects for members who want the level of uplift increased for particular groups, look very unlikely. Equitable has said that with-profits annuitants may get extra help, but only if the compromise is supported. Policyholder action groups remain ambivalent and want Equitable to publish a comparison between policy values and the exact value of underlying assets before backing the scheme.

Vanni Treves, Equitable's chairman, acknowledges that it will still be a tall order to push through the scheme which, if ratified, would also trigger a £250m payment by Halifax banking group into the with-profit fund.

Independent Partners: 10 top tips for retirement. Get your free guide here

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

    Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

    £70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

    Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

    £23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

    Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

    £13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific