Updated 21st October 2014
EMAG's new film: “Time for the Treasury to settle its Debts”
EMAG recently filmed a dozen of its aggrieved non-annuitant members
“The latest annuities scandal: The pensions that shrink to zero. Hundreds of thousands of people relying on investment-linked pensions for their retirement income are facing the terrifying possibility that their payments might dry up
A number of worried pensioners have written to the Telegraph with details of their continually shrivelling pension incomes from such policies. In some cases the annual reductions are small, but in the worst cases, pensioners in their 70s and 80s are now receiving incomes less than half their original pay outs.Most, but not all of the complaints, relate to the 50,000 policies of this sort issued by Equitable Life
To help make up for their dwindling incomes, and because government regulation was deemed to be partially responsible for the firm's downfall, the Government has been topping up the incomes of customers who bought Equitable Life with-profits annuities after 1992, using a complex formula to calculate how much individuals are missing out on compared to “typical” with-profits annuities.
But Paul Weir, a director of the Equitable Members' Action Group (EMAG), the campaign group responsible for lobbying the Government over the course of a decade to get compensation for customers, says these payments are “insufficient” and typically only make up around half the losses most people are suffering every year.
The Treasury has confirmed it has no plans to review the compensation, but the group is ramping up pressure on the Government to increase it by launching a fresh campaign which will include a 300-person strong demonstration outside Parliament next week
According to Mr Weir, a number of the group's members that have called Prudential's customer services helpline to voice their concern - only to be told that the incomes they rely on are on a downward trajectory heading toward zero ”Katie Morley, in the Sunday Telegraph 19th October, 2014
EMAG's rally 22nd October
EMAG has organised its third Westminster Rally. There'll be a screening of the new EMAG film (see above), speeches from prominent backbench MPs in the Central Hall Westminster, a protest outside St Stephen's entrance to the Commons and lobbying of individual MPs in the House.
Read EMAG's press release explaining the event. This has already led to extensive press coverage in The Guardian, Independent, Standard, Herald on the day of the Rally - all of which will be linked to here asap.
UK politics “kippered”
Clacton's re-election of Douglas Carswell as the local MP was widely expected but the result in Manchester's Heywood & Middleton, where UKIP's candidate was only 617 votes behind Labour, sent shock waves around Westminster. With UKIP now consistent polling figures double the Lib Dems, the general election coming in less than 200 days is the most unpredictable in years. It's the best possible backcloth for Equitable victims to be pressing their claim for FULL compensation to all Parliamentary candidate hopefuls.
The next APPG meeting set
The Executive of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policyholders (APPG) has set the date and content for its next meeting.
The new minister responsible at The Treasury, Economic Secretary Andrea Leadsom MP, will address the group. The meeting is for MPs only and will be held in Committee Room 9 at 4.30pm on Monday 10th November.
Did you receive your AGM pack?
EMAG's annual report and accounts should have landed on members' doormats by 21st October, containing the voting pack for the AGM to be held in London on 19 November. If your renewal invite and report hasn't reached you, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A death in the family
Sad to report, EMAG's first chairman Vincent Nolan died on 17th August. He was chair of EMAG in 2000 and 2001 before stepping down to be replaced as chair by Paul Braithwaite. He remained an active EMAG supporter to the end.