intends to decide the fate of the future of its remaining
policyholders this year, inviting tenders for the transfer of its
claims it is now 'stable', still has a with-profits fund of
£6.8 billion. Its excess assets at the end of 2007 stood at
621 million, after Equitable transferred its with-profits annuities
During 2007 the
society achieved a return of 4% on its with-profits fund, with a
net return of 1.9%. It says that policyholders will get at least
their minimum guaranteed benefits when they are due, while policy
values will be increased for UK with-profits pensions policies at a
non-guaranteed rate of 5% per annum. There will be a non-guaranteed
interim bonus this year of 5% per annum for these
The society still
faces legal action, although it came to a settlement with the
remaining 401 annuitants from a group who started actions in 2004.
It says that the cost of this was well within the provisions that
it had put aside in expectation. But so far this year, 78 legal
claims have been lodged in Germany.
Equitable Life's chairman, stressed that the society was at a
'crossroads' and would be considering the future of Equitable in
the coming months.
Treves said: 'We
can comfortably run the business off ourselves, but we are also in
good shape for others to consider. If one or more third
parties can provide a better outlook for our policyholders than we
can ourselves then we will recommend the best approach to our
members. Whatever the outcome, the next 12 months is the
right time to address this question."