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Axa offers final chance for orphan cash windfall

Axa is offering policyholders their last chance to receive a cash windfall in exchange for giving up the right to future payouts from its orphan estate.

The offer is a repeat of the controversial proposal made last year which won approval from the High Court in December 2000.

A group of policyholders , backed by the Consumers&#39 Association, had challenged Axa in court over the fairness of its scheme to distribute its inherited estate.

Eligible with-profits policyholders were offered £400 per policy to give up the possibility of receiving future distributions from the inherited estate. Last year, 532,000 policyholders voted to take the cash.

This repeat offer will go out to around 165,000 policyholders holding around 180,000 policies. To be eligible, the policies must be with-profits policies from Axa Equity & Law or Axa Sun Life in force on July 24, 2002 and July 25, 2001.

Information and another election form will be sent to eligible policyholders during the second half of August. Completed forms must be returned by November 6. Policyholders should receive their cash by February 2002.

Some policies will receive an equivalent additional bonus rather than a cash payment.

Axa Sun Life chief executive Andy Haste says: “The High Court approved our proposals without amendment in December and a significant majority have already chosen the new with-profits fund and received a cash payment. We are offering another opportunity for policyholders.”

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