Updated 4th April, 2017
EMAG exists to campaign for full government compensation. Will members of EMAG please note that because of pressure of work we regret it is not possible to answer individual written enquiries.
A short video which explains what EMAG is fighting for.
“...We also have the non-with-profits annuitants, of whom there are 1,000,605. They have received, thus far, £749 million, but that represents only 22.4% of their losses. That is an arbitrary number. If the Government have accepted that they are responsible for the pensions of those individuals, it cannot be right that they receive an arbitrary percentage merely because that is the balance left of the money that was set aside. All I ask is for my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to say that the Government will keep that under review and that, as the economy recovers, the compensation should be paid out...
The current position is unfair on those individuals, many of whom are approaching retirement and seeking to draw on their pension pots but do not know what security they will have in their old age. For them to get just 22.4% is absolutely unacceptable, and the battle will continue until such time as they receive the compensation that they are due...
For the people who have received compensation for 22.4% of their losses, a plan should be set out to enable them to receive full compensation. I am not expecting that to happen straightaway—it may take time—but those people should receive compensation as the economy recovers. We could have a plan so that, in line with the recovery of the economy, much more money is paid out. That would fair, reasonable and—dare I say?— equitable...
In conclusion, I look forward to my hon. Friend giving us some commitments and clear guidance on what the Treasury will do to assist people who invested and did the right thing. This House owes a debt of honour to those individuals, and those of us who support these honourable people will not rest until such time as they receive every penny piece of the compensation to which they are entitled.”
The Commons Equitable Life debate, 23 March
The day after the terrible tragedy in Westminster, the Commons still went about its business. Three dozen stalwart EMAG members, despite the security lock-down, defiantly set out to attend the debate. Whilst a dozen were turned away by police wrongly believing there was to be no public access, two dozen got through the cordons and watched the whole debate from the Visitors' Gallery. That is a measure of EMAG members’ determination to pursue fairness and justice.
In the debate, 25 MPs from five different political parties spoke on Equitable Life compensation and supported a motion which called on the Government to:- “make a commitment to provide full compensation to victims of the scandal as the economy continues to recover”.
Economic Secretary Simon Kirby MP, responding on behalf of the Treasury, was left in no doubt that Members of Parliament from all sides of the House do not consider the Equitable Life saga to be a closed case. Unfortunately, he had a pre-prepared and inaccurate script written for him by Treasury officials, which did little to move the debate on.
MPs voted unanimously in favour of adopting the Motion.
Find the full Hansard transcript of the debate here.
Or read some selected quotes here.
We are gratified to note that, down to the perseverance of EMAG members, the number of MP members of the APPG has grown from 193 members last July to 231 MPs today. Is yours one?
The latest Commons Library analysis
In advance of the parliamentary debate (23 March) the Commons Library published on 16 March a history of the political interface with the Equitable Life saga. Read it here.
ELPS compensation paid out to January 2017
Figures obtained by FoI show that the Treasury failed to trace 10% of policyholders entitled to compensation (107,647). The total compensation paid out to the located 849,584 non-WPA policies was £740 million (of the £775m designated). 38,298 with-profits annuitants have received £371 million. Separately, 9,229 pre-1992 WPAs have received a total of £48 million as ex-gratia payments. The Independent Review Panel (IRP) was closed down on 31 October and the ELPS has now been shut. The fact remains that of the £1.5bn allocated, more than £140m remains unspent.