We have previously reported here on the Equitable Life (Payments) Bill, which has been subject to scrutiny in the UK Parliament. The Bill is intended to give the Treasury statutory authority to make payments to eligible former and current Equitable Life Assurance Society (Equitable Life) policyholders who have been adversely affected by the maladministration of Government regulatory bodies in the regulation of Equitable Life prior to December 2001. The Bill does not detail the precise shape of the payments scheme but does clarify the tax treatment of future payments.
The Bill received its second reading in the House of Lords on 24 November 2010. As the Bill is a 'Money Bill', it cannot be amended by the House of Lords; accordingly, the committee stage, report stage and third reading are just formalities and the Bill was passed the same day. It is expected to receive Royal Assent on 16 December 2010.
We will continue to monitor the progress of the Bill.