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Only a third back NU orphan plans

Only one-third of Norwich Union with-profits policyholders believe the proposed reattribution of the company’s inherited estate is a good idea and 41 per cent say they do not have enough information to form an opinion, according to research by YouGov.

The survey found only 35 per cent of policyholders are positive about the proposals although only 8 per cent of the 6,500 policyholders surveyed thought the move would be a bad idea.

Norwich Union’s parent group Aviva said late last year that it would be pressing ahead with plans for the reattribution of the inherited estate of two of its with-profits funds and appointed Clare Spottiswoode as policyholder advocate.

The survey found that a windfall was twice as popular as an extra bonus and the general view was that long-standing policyholders should get more money.

Nearly all respondents agreed that Spottiswoode’s role was important and most were confident they had been given sufficient ways to express their views on the possible reattribution.

The most commonly held products were lump-sum investments with mortgage endowments as second.

Most policyholders who attended the roadshows held by Aviva admitted they did not know much about with-profits policies.

There is no guarantee that any reattribution deal will be done and no final deal is expected until at least 2008.

Spottiswoode says: “I have been very encouraged by the positive engagement we have had from so many policyholders at such an early stage in the process. It is clear there is a significant interest in achieving a fair deal for policyholders, which both I and Norwich Union must try to meet. Negotiations are at an early stage at present and we have not yet begun to discuss any numbers. These survey results are a powerful reminder of our responsibilities to those we represent.”


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