Updated 29th January, 2016
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.
Backbench MPs and EMAG members converse in the Commons at the joint APPG/EMAG reception on 3rd November, 2015
Equitable Commons debate set for 11 February 2016
The Equitable APPG has secured a three-hour-long debate in the Commons on Thursday 11th February calling on the government to make a commitment to provide victims of the Equitable Life scandal with full compensation. The start time is not set but will follow right after Urgent Questions, Statements and Business Questions.
Motion: “That this House congratulates the Government on providing a scheme to compensate victims of the Equitable Life scandal; welcomes the Government's acceptance of the Parliamentary Ombudsman's findings in full; notes that the Parliamentary Ombudsman recommended that policyholders should be put back in the position they would have been in had maladministration not occurred; further notes that most victims have only received partial compensation compared to the confirmed losses; and that the compensation scheme is now closed to new applicants; calls on the Government to ensure that the entire existing budget allocated for compensation to date is paid to applicants to the scheme and make a further commitment to provide full compensation for relative losses to all victims of this scandal.”
Please, ask your MP to attend and to notify the Speaker in advance of his or her intention to speak. Ask the MP to be seen to be speaking up for their Equitable Life policyholder constituents and to report back to you.
The cost to put this right is £2.6 billion plus another estimated £115 million for the pre-92 WPAs.
This is REALLY important and a chance to send a BIG message to the Chancellor that the Equitable compensation issue is not sorted, as he prepares his March budget.
The APPG Executive has secured this debate at very short notice. The number of MPs on the APPG has been steadily growing and now 177 MPs from all parties have joined. Has your MP joined yet? http://www.emag.org.uk/justice_group.php. If not, please ask them to join and support you. This is a chance for your MP to demonstrate to you that they are serious in their support for justice for policyholders.
Watch the debate live on TV
You can watch the debate live at http://parliamentlive.tv/Commons
Actuary David Forfar has investigated the ELPS calculations for WPA policies
As you may be aware, EMAG has been engaged in a protracted battle to get the Treasury to enable recipients of ELPS payments to understand how their payments were calculated. This has included two sessions with the Public Accounts Committee.
This battle continues for the majority of policy types, but for WP Annuities only, we have made progress.
Eminent actuary David Forfar (who has given all his time and expertise to EMAG pro bono) created a spreadsheet model in an attempt to reproduce the Treasury's model, using the technical annexe published on the ELPS website. As the Treasury refused to let EMAG see the workings of their model, it was eventually agreed that instead Towers Watson (the actuaries who created the Treasury's model) would meet with Mr Forfar and identify any adjustments to his model that would enable his to replicate theirs.
It became apparent that there were some flaws and omissions in the Treasury's technical annexe (most of which were subsequently corrected in a clarifications document published on the Government's website in September 2014) making it impossible to complete the task, but with further dialogue over a number of months, we finally reached a point where Mr Forfar's model was in sync with the Towers Watson model and he was able to analyse a sample of 11 actual examples supplied by EMAG members.
This was a long and painful process, but this month, Mr Forfar has published his conclusions on his website:
“Thus, in my view, although only a selection of actual WPA policies have been checked, the former Equitable Life With-Profits Annuitants (WPA annuitants) can take comfort from this exercise that their compensation calculations have been done correctly.”
Read in full here
“...I can tell you that I have been lobbying behind the scenes. One of the other roles that Paul did not mention is that I have been elected as the Secretary of the 1922 Committee. Now, the 1922 Committee is the committee that represents Conservative backbenchers and, equally, Cheryl Gillan is Vice Chairman of the Committee as well, and the key role that the 1922 Committee fulfils is setting up the rules for the election of a party leader. Now, David Cameron, our Prime Minister, has announced that he will step down during this Parliament some time and will elect a new leader of the Conservative Party - I suggest that gives us quite an opportunity to press the case, particularly with certain people who may wish to be candidates for that position and may have their hands on the levers of power at the moment.
So in the background I have pressed the case for increasing the amounts of compensation being paid out. Now, I was explaining this to some colleagues earlier this week but it's worth bearing in mind saying when we talk about justice for Equitable Life policyholders it is not a simple fact of saying, “There are a million policyholders...,“ and therefore they all are entitled to the same amount of money,” because we have a position whereby we've got the pre '92 trapped annuitants who received some compensation, not full compensation, not in comparison to their loss at all, just as a one-off payment, so they're clearly left at the moment out of pocket completely...”
Bob Blackman MP The Conservative Party's Joint-chair of the “Justice for Equitable Life Policyholders All-Party Parliamentary Group.” (APPG) Extract from his keynote speech to EMAG's AGM on 5th November 2015 at the new City of Birmingham Library.