Updated 24th October, 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.
A short video which explains what EMAG is fighting for.
EMAG has just published a new up-to-date fact sheet, which you can obtain by clicking here.
“Six years ago today the former Chancellor, George Osborne, stood up to give the Comprehensive Spending Review under the then-Coalition Government. I was there for his statement to the House, in which he said about the Equitable Life scandal:
“So let me make it clear: I accept the findings of the Parliamentary Ombudsman in full... I agree with the Ombudsman that the relative loss suffered is the difference between what policyholders actually received from their policies and what they would have received elsewhere.”
That 'relative loss' was calculated to be £4.3 billion. Only £1.5 billion has been allocated to date. When we were last in Opposition many of my Conservative colleagues, including the new Chancellor, were very happy to sign the pledge promising to deliver justice for Equitable Life policyholders. In the subsequent six years, Equitable Life aside, politics has moved on considerably.
We now have a Conservative Government, new Prime Minister and Chancellor, as well as a departure from the austerity politics of George Osborne. Theresa May very quickly announced her Government will not be sticking to Mr Osborne’s financial rule to run a budget surplus by 2020. She has put in place a new approach to foreign policy, a more interventionist economic strategy and pledged to build a “country that works for everyone...”
Back on 1st July this website had as a headline “May you live in interesting times”. That was an understatement after the last three months of turmoil! But we're heading for some clarity now that the Party Conference season is over (almost).
For Equitable Life the three main developments are the appointments of The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP as Chancellor, Simon Kirby MP as Economic Secretary and the confirmation of Jeremy Corbyn MP as Leader of the Opposition, likely through the next General Election.
Because of the total rejig of government appointments, the number of MPs on the APPG has fallen (temporarily!) from 208 to 193 MPs. This embraces 27 from the Scottish National Party, 54 from Labour and 96 Conservative backbench MPs. However some MPs recently released from their ministerial responsibility are now JOINING the APPG.
The APPG will be jointly holding a lunchtime reception with EMAG in The Commons on 11 October for MPs to meet thirty invited Equitable Life policyholder victims face-to-face.
EMAG's AGM and Report & Accounts
For the second year running EMAG's AGM will be held in the Birmingham City Library. It will take place on Wednesday 9th November. Only paid-up members of EMAG are entitled to attend. EMAG's Report and Accounts and member voting packs are at the printers and should be received by mid-October.
ELPS compensation paid out to September 2016
The latest updated figures (obtained by FoI) show that the Treasury has failed to trace 10% of policyholders entitled to compensation (107,647). The total compensation paid out to 849,584 non-WPA policies was £740 million (of the £775m designated). 38,298 with-profits annuitants have so far received £371 million to 1 September. Separately, 9,229 pre-1992 WPAs have received a total of £48 million as an ex-gratia payment.
Finding out how ELPS calculated your payments
After a protracted stand off, the Treasury agreed to work with EMAG and our actuary David Forfar to help us understand how ELPS's payment calculations were arrived at for the 900,000 with-profits policyholders who were eligible for compensation who are not WPAs*.
Mr Forfar - the former Chief Actuary with Scottish Windows and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries - is assisting EMAG at no charge, for which we are very grateful. Following his successful work in 2014 on WPA policies, Mr Forfar has built a model of all the main non-WPA policy types (such as personal pension policies, managed pensions Income drawdown, bonds and PIPs) using all the publicly available data from the Treasury and ELPS. The model is based on 23 ACTUAL examples.
Mr Forfar identified areas of information that he believed the Scheme had not adequately provided, which in his view made it impossible to correctly arrive at a calculation. Clarification of these points was sought. This kind of lengthy “reverse-engineering” is necessary because the Treasury refused to show us THEIR model.
Mr Forfar has been trying to satisfy himself that his models can reproduce the same outcomes produced by the Scheme. This work is on-going and EMAG hopes to publish his conclusions when (and if) the work is finished.
*You can read David Forfar's conclusions on WPA policies (annuities) here.