Sunday, 30 May 2010

Queens Speech Equitable Life Bill‏

I'm going to blog on one good point of the queens speech and write another blog on an aspect of the Queens speech that concerns me. Here's the good point blog, Of course all the Liberal, Fairness and social values for me go without saying so heres a subject that has not been widely covered in the political blogosphere.

One Bill which has not been heavily covered in the Queens Speech is the Equitable life bill.

Story of Equitable Life

Equitable Life allowed large unhedged liabilities to grow while guaranteeing fixed incomes to investors. This situation of course could not continue and in 2000 the House of Lords ruled that Equitable Life had to close to new business drying up any income and payments were reduced greatly to its investors (pensioners). A number of reports were commissioned by the government (the Penrose Report) and the European Union plus various legal actions but still Equitable Life policy holders were not paid compensation even after a 4 year investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

The government in 2009 appointed Judge Sir John Chadwick to come up with a compensation scheme. Many findings were rejected by the government and despite Equitable Members Action Group bring pressure to bare on the government and asking for interim payments, non of these payments where made. Policy holders in many cases have seen their pensions paid in good faith halved.

What's in the Bill

One question I was asked a few times when I was knocking on doors is "What are you going to do anything about Equitable Life policy payments". One man said that we would do nothing to help. I would like to go back to that door and say too him see. He also didn't believe the me when I told him that the Lib Dems would restore the earnings link to pensions. I'm very tempted to knock on this mans door again and say see its going to happen.

The Bill promises to compensate both current and deceased policyholders and for this not to be means tested. I'm very pleased that after years of inaction and promises that something is now going to happen before more policy holders pass away (30,000 have already died). An independent commission will determine the method of payment but the main point is that these payments will be made.

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  1. Two excellent things to come out of this government... I hope they come to fruition.

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  3. Vince Cable seemed good when not in Government but alas his star seems to br dimming fast hiding behind protocol on his original views on Equitable

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