About EMAG’s campaign for justice
- 2008 After a lengthy inquiry the Parliamentary Ombudsman found government, including HM Treasury, guilty of a DECADE of maladministration that led to a million pensioners losing most of their retirement savings.
- 2010 The government accepted that victims’ losses amounted to £4.3bn, (subsequently refined down by the Treasury to £4.1bn) but only allocated £1.5bn for compensation. 9,000 of the most elderly and vulnerable annuitants were excluded from any compensation.
- 2011 The government allocated £625m to provide 100% compensation for included annuitants, leaving £775m to share among one million other victims. This meant that people got just 22.4% of the money they had lost because of maladministration.
- 2013 After an intensive campaign, the government announced that excluded annuitants would receive an ex-gratia payment of £5,000.
The current position
- 895,000 traced victims want the unpaid debt settled for the losses incurred through no fault of their own. This would cost £2.6bn.
- Around 15 victims continue to die EACH DAY without the justice they deserve. An estimated 55,000 victims have died since 2010.
- More than 100,000 victims have not been traced.
- The c.9,000 most elderly and vulnerable pensioners remain excluded from full compensation. Rectifying this would cost around £100m. Around £140m of the £1.5bn remains unspent in the Treasury’s pockets.
- Over 290 MPs are members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policyholders.
What the government should do
- Pay the missing 77.6% now to 895,000 victims
- Pay the 9,000 pre-92 WPAs ex-gratia from the £140m underspend
Why the time to settle the debt is NOW
After years of campaigning and promises from all political parties, nearly a million people are still being told that their compensation is limited to just 22% of the loss it is accepted they have suffered.
These are ordinary people, now mainly in their 70s, 80s and 90s, who lived through the privations of post-war Britain and helped rebuild the country through hard work and saving. They are not the privileged wealthy but responsible hard-working people. They are former nurses, teachers, civil servants, small business owners and shop workers with most having less than £20,000 in their pension pot. They deserve and need the money owed to them. Too many continue to die without the compensation they are due. They need paying now. The money would be spent and recycled through the economy – including back to the government – and would support the post-pandemic recovery.
Finding the £2.6bn owed NOW
Availability of money is not the issue. The government is expected to have ‘found’ over £390bn to support the economy and businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. Delivering justice would cost less than 1% of that. Freezing fuel duty for just one year costs more than paying the debt owed to Equitable Life victims.