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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

MP urges Eastbourne Equitable pensioners to apply for their compensation

May 31, 2013 12:29 PM

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd is calling on any constituents who had pensions with Equitable Life, to make sure they get the compensation promised to them by the government before it is too late.

The Equitable Life Payments Scheme was set up by the coalition in 2011 to pay up to £1.5 billion to victims of the Equitable Life scandal, and £600 million has already been paid out. But many people have moved without giving their new address and an alarming number seem to be unaware that they are entitled to a payment. The Treasury is planning to shut down the scheme in 2014, with many pensioners at risk of remaining unpaid.

Potentially there are more than 400 people in Eastbourne alone missing out on thousands of pounds in compensation. Nationally the figure is close to 200,000.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman found that UK financial regulators had failed the firm's customers every single year throughout the 1990s. In 2008, she published a report entitled 'A decade of Regulatory Failure'. She called on the government to pay compensation to the victims of the scanda
but it was not until 2010 that the new government committed in the coalition agreement to make "swift, fair and transparent payments" to the 1.5 million pensioners affected.

Stephen Lloyd said: "Although 450,000 people have now received a compensation cheque, about 20% remain untraced and if people don't get their claim in quickly they will miss out. It would be such a shame if having worked all their lives, these 200,000 pensioners miss out on the money that has been allocated to them. And it's tax-free too!"

Mr Lloyd is a leading campaigner for justice for Equitable Life policyholders, acting as secretary of the all party parliamentary group in cooperation with the main policyholder action group EMAG.

He added: "EMAG have done sterling work in holding the Payment Scheme to account and I have been very happy to be part of the All Party group that has supported them. I was particularly happy to see that following excessive lobbying by us all, the government has now decided to pay the pre-1992 annuitants as well. The details of this have yet to be fleshed out, so keep an eye out for updates. But if you are one of the original eligible claimants, make sure you get in touch with the scheme."

If you think you have an eligible policy but have not yet heard from the Scheme, you can first confirm that your policy is eligible for the Scheme by telephoning the Scheme's "Policychecker" service on 0300 0200 150. Or write to Equitable Life Payment Scheme, PO Box 4110, Glasgow G58 1EL quoting your full name, address and your Equitable Life policy number in all correspondence.

The Scheme website can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/ELcompensation or http://equitablelifepaymentscheme.independent.gov.uk/index.htm