Some members of the Plan currently have Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) invested with Equitable Life as part of a Group Policy where the Trustee is the Policyholder.

In 2018, Equitable Life announced their intention to withdraw from the market and transfer their business to Utmost Life and Pensions. The proposed transfer of business (the ‘Transfer’), along with the proposal to convert with-profit polices to unit linked policies (the ‘Scheme’) is subject to Policyholder and High Court approval.

The Policyholder vote took place on 1 November 2019 and an overwhelming majority voted in favour of the proposals. The Trustee also voted in favour of the proposals following discussions with its advisers. Both proposals were approved by the High Court on 4 December 2019.

The Plan’s AVC group policy will now transfer to Utmost Life and Pensions on 1 January 2020. For members who have a with-profit policy, your policy will be converted to a unit linked policy. This will entail the investment guarantee on your policy being removed and a compensatory one-off uplift, which will be calculated at the time of transfer, being added to your policy value. The Trustee has been provided with an estimate of the size of the uplift for with-profit members and these range from 68% to 96%.

Equitable Life has recently issued Policyholders (including the Trustees) with Investment Choice packs to confirm how they would like with-profit policies to be invested once converted to unit linked policies. The Trustee will consider these choices and send further information to members early next year.

It is not necessary for you to take any action at this point however, if you have any questions you can contact Equitable Life directly either by email – or by telephone 0330 159 1531 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm). You will be asked to provide the HP Plan name and the Trustee’s policy number as follows:

HP Sections executives – Q0186
HP Section – H0862
Digital Section – E0320
Medas – Q1910

You can find full details of the proposal and obtain information about Utmost Life and Pensions here.