Official information on the scheme for pre 92 WPAs (Equitable Life With-Profits Annuity), updated by HM TReasury 10th Sept 2013.
1. Payments to pre-September 1992 Equitable Life With-Profits Annuity (WPA) policyholders announced at Budget 2013
In the 2013 Budget the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the government plans to make payments to a particular group of Equitable Life policyholders. A single ex gratia payment of £5,000 will be made to people who have one or more With-Profits Annuities from the Equitable Life Assurance Society dating from before 1st September 1992 and were aged 60 or over at the date of the Budget announcement on 20 March 2013. An additional £5,000 will be paid to those policyholders who meet the above criteria and are in receipt of Pension Credit on 1 November 2013.
This particular group of policyholders is under financial pressure in their final years, as they have not received the income they had hoped for from the Equitable Life annuity they bought over 20 years ago. These payments are therefore intended to help this group of elderly policyholders who may be living with a reduced annuity income, and to relieve some of the associated pressures.
These payments will be delivered with the assistance of the Prudential Assurance Society.
Letters about these payments were sent to all pre-1992 Equitable Life With-Profits Annuitants in the week beginning 9 September 2013 using address details held by the Prudential, which makes regular annuity payments to all the eligible policyholders.
1.1 Timing of payments
Legislation is required to facilitate these payments, which is expected to be approved by Parliament in the coming months. Subject to Parliamentary timetabling, the payments are planned to be made later in this financial year (2013-2014).
1.2 Pension Credit
The government recognises that the pre-September 1992 Equitable Life WPA group consists of policyholders with a range of different circumstances. Therefore the government wants to focus the available funds on those policyholders who need it most. If someone is in receipt of Pension Credit they will have had their financial situation assessed, and will have a low income.
2. Payments to deceased policyholders
Because these payments are intended to help relieve some of the pressures associated with living with a reduced annuity income, the government has decided not to make payments to those pre-1992 Equitable Life With-Profits Annuitants who were already deceased by the date of the Budget announcement. This is also in order to maximise the payment available to living policyholders. However, should an annuitant have passed away after the announcement on 20 March 2013 before receiving their payment, this payment will pass to their estate.
These estates will receive a payment of £5000 regardless of whether the deceased policyholder had been eligible for Pension Credit prior to their death. This is because these payments are intended to support living policyholders.
If you are the administrator of an estate of a pre-1992 Equitable Life With-Profit Annuitant who has died since 20 March 2013, you should write to the Prudential to ensure that their records are up-to-date. Over the coming months, we will use this information to write to the estates of pre-1992 Equitable Life With-Profit Annuitants who have died after 20 March 2013 to provide information on how to make a claim for a payment.
3. Payments to overseas EU policyholders
A further payment of £5,000 is available to those overseas policyholders living in the EU who are in receipt of a means-related social security benefit equivalent to Pension Credit on 1 November 2013. If this applies to you, you will need to make a claim in order to receive this additional payment. We must receive by this by 1 December 2013.
Information for policyholders living in France, Spain, and the Republic of Ireland is provided below. If you live elsewhere in the EU and will be in receipt of a means-related social security benefit on 1 November 2013, please write to us with a copy of your most recent application form for the benefit in question and a copy of written confirmation of your successful application from the relevant authority. We will reply to you to request any further evidence as necessary during the verification process of your claim.
All correspondence should be directed to: Equitable Life Pre-1992 WPA Payments, HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ.
3.1 Information for policyholders living in France
To make a successful claim for an additional payment of £5,000, you must be in receipt of the Old-Age Solidarity Allowance (Allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées (ASPA)) on 1 November 2013. Please provide a copy of your most recent application form (Caisse nationale d’assurance vieillesse (Cnav), Cerfa n°14957*01), and a copy of written confirmation of your successful application from the relevant pension fund or municipality that shows your full name and address.
3.2 Information for policyholders living in Spain
To make a successful claim for an additional payment of £5,000, you must be in receipt of the non-contributory retirement pension (Solicitud de pensión de jubilación no contributiva) on 1 November 2013. Please provide a copy of your most recent application form and a copy of written confirmation of your successful application from the social services department of the relevant Autonomous Community (Comunidade Autónomas) or the Institute of Elderly and Social Services (Imserso) that shows your full name and address.
3.3 Information for policyholders living in the Republic of Ireland
To make a successful claim for an additional payment of £5,000, you must be in receipt of the Non-Contributory State Pension. Please provide a copy of your most recent application form and a copy of written confirmation of your successful application from the Department for Social Protection that shows your full name and address.
Please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equitable-life-payments/equitable-life-payments to see more.