Equitable Life shuts down - what should policyholders do?

18 June 2018

Legacy policyholders still with the pension company are due a windfall.

Pension company Equitable Life is set to shut down, 18 years after it almost collapsed.

So long as members agree to the move in a vote scheduled for 2019, the insurer will transfer all policies to Reliance Life and its with profits fund will be closed for good.  

In 2000, Equitable Life was hit by a major financial scandal which caused it to almost collapse. It had failed to put enough money aside to pay for promised pension payouts. Since then the company has been closed to any new business.

Policyholders will forgo current policy guarantees, but they are set to benefit from a large windfall. A total of £1.8 billion will be added to roughly 261,000 policies, resulting in an average windfall of £6,900.

According to Danny Cox, chartered financial planner at Hargreaves Lansdown: "This is a wonderful windfall for Equitable Life policyholders, who now stand to pick up a nice bonus as the with profits fund and Equitable Life shut up shop for good. There’s still a bit of a wait, but the uplift is so substantial it’s well worth hanging on for.

"The closure of the with profits fund and the end of the Society will draw a final line under the insurance society, almost two decades after the Equitable shut its doors to new business."

What investors should do

Currently, Equitable Life policyholders receive either their guaranteed policy value or the current value plus an uplift of 35% if they transfer or surrender their policy. That is set to increase significantly, to somewhere between 60 and 70% by the end of 2019.

It makes sense, therefore, for policyholders to do nothing for now. According to Cox: "Investors who can hang on will now see significant enhancements to their policy values. For those who can afford to do so, it clearly makes sense to wait."

This article was first published on our sister website Money Observer.


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Please advise if I am entitled to any further moneys from equitable life

In reply to by david weston (not verified)

Equitable life

My late husband had a personal pension plan with them am I able to claim a d how do I go about it.

In reply to by Pene entwistle (not verified)

Can I claim on my late husbands Policy

Date of policy taken out 1998 on The death of the life Assured, Can you please advise.

In reply to by david weston (not verified)


When does Reliance start paying out some of the money the Government. has given to them to pay out Equitable Life holders of Policies.?

With profits policy

Am I expected to receive a lump sum bonus after the transfer to Reliance and if so when is this to be paid

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Question: Is there anything in the Equitable shut down bonus for with profits annuitants whose funds have already been transferred to the Prudential?

Pension equitable life

If I decide to withdraw all monies will I still receive the expected windfall. Also, Might not benefit from the windfall. Regards

Pensions Cashed In

This whole affair has been very unfair, I had to take a deduction to transfer to another pension provider - this offer closes the matter, but leaves many out of pocket. A sad indictment of 'flawed pension investment' supervised by a weak government watchdog where the investor is treated poorly in a chain that sees seller & investment firm reaping all the benefits to the cost of the investor!

Early transfer

Just like Francis McCluskey, I too transferred my pension pot, years ago as a hedge against the trouble Equitable Life was in. Am I due for a compensation payout, bearing in mind the loss incurred at the time of transfer? Remember, when I started my pensions with Equitable Life, my bank manager told me I’d chosen, probably the best place, ever, to put my pension savings.
Answer, please?

how safe is our money

our money will move over to the new company and is guaranteed for six months and then will be moved to other investment options all with various degrees of risk. Given that there is risk in normal financial situations how can we know how Brexit will affect our investments after October 31st. I don't have a huge investment but am I being naive in thinking that my money would be better staying in a guaranteed fund.

allready cash in 2010

Was advised to take cash setllement.

Equitable Life/Prudential

I had my pension plans with Equitable life and I started drawing this upon retirement and this was subsequently sold to Prudential and later annual payments from the Equitable life Rectification Scheme. I now wonder when the final payments will be made under this scheme and when the payments from Prudential will stop reducing on an annual basis.

With profits scheme

I wondered when they start to pay out in this latest dissolvement of Equitable Life as I have not heard any news.My pension is only a fraction what it was originaly as profits went down every year so at 87 i would like to know as time is running out and also my Wife and me John Forsyth

I have an annuity from Equitable

My annuity from The Equitable Life Assurance Society of U.S. which was purchased for me in 1985 and is due to mature in 2020. Who can I contact to see if it's still in place.


I had a pension with equitable life in the nineties, I was told by them to transfer my existing two pensions that were with other companies , which I did , some time later they went down. I was paid ten pence in the pound. Is there anything that I can do. ?

Life Policy

I bought a Life Policy January 24, 1989, unaware that Equitable was in trouble. The agent did not advise me concerning the trouble but presented the insurance company with upmost points. Now I have received a portfolio concerning the name change Axa Equitable to Equitable. Nothing more and until I started reading about the money troubles, how secure am I that the money will be there upon my death? And every year since 2000, I have received a notice that the company needs more premium money and that my policy has lapsed. I am perplexed and need better information concerning the company that always needs more money because stock THEY purchased is not doing well. I was never given the opportunity to select the stock for myself. How can a company be so untrustworthy?


how do I find out if a policy is still good for my deceased father?

Add new comment