Good News for With-profits Policyholders

We have made plans which we believe will not only secure the 35% capital distribution currently given when with-profits policy benefits are taken, but we also believe would enhance those benefits.

This has been made possible by an agreement to transfer the Society and all its policies to Reliance Life.

Our proposal is to:
  • Distribute all available assets in the with-profits fund fully and fairly to with-profits policyholders by increasing the current 35% capital distribution to a level expected to be between 60% and 70%
  • Close the with-profits fund, which means removing the guarantees and with them any guaranteed investment return
  • Convert with-profits policies to unit-linked
  • Transfer all policies to Reliance Life
With-profits policyholders will be asked to vote on this proposal before it can go ahead. Our proposal will be reviewed by an Independent Expert, who will consider it through the eyes of policyholders. The Independent Expert’s report will be made available to policyholders before they vote.

Our current thinking is that the vote will take place in mid 2019, and our proposal will then be put before a High Court Judge for approval. The policy enhancement, and the removal of the guarantees, would take place towards the end of 2019, and the transfer of newly converted unit-linked policies to Reliance Life would follow immediately afterwards.

Reliance Life is part of Life Company Consolidation Group, a specialist European life assurance group. Its principal businesses are Reliance Life and Utmost Wealth Solutions, which are responsible for in aggregate £24bn of primarily unit-linked policyholder assets for more than 250,000 customers.

There is no action for policyholders to take now. More information will be provided in 2019.

Helpful Questions and Answers

"While it will be sad to bring to an end the oldest mutual assurer in the world, the potential to enhance with-profits policy values to the extent made possible by a
transfer to Reliance Life is fundamentally helpful in distributing capital to our policyholders as fairly and as soon as possible. I believe Reliance Life's approach to customer service, investment choice
and policyholder security make for a compelling way forward."

Ian Brimecome, Chairman

"A wonderful windfall for Equitable Life policyholders who now stand to pick up a nice bonus."
Danny Cox, Hargreaves Lansdown

"Equitable has crafted an elegant termination strategy."
Paul Braithwaite, EMAG

"The announcement is good news for Equitable’s remaining 300,000 policyholders."
Paul Weir, EMAG