Stirling MP Urges Action on Equitable Life Pension Scandal

Published:

Categories: Inequality, Pensions, UK Government (Westminster)

Alyn Smith MP has called on the UK Government to step up and take its responsibilities in the ongoing Equitable Life pension scandal more rigorously.

The firm crashed in 2000, owing policyholders billions. In 2010 the UK Government agreed a £1.5 billion compensation package, far short of what campaign group EMAG claims should have been around £4 billion.

EMAG reports some members being forced to work well past retirement age due to the financial losses incurred by participation within a seemingly safe pension scheme.

Alyn Smith MP said in a House of Commons Debate:

‘This is a historic injustice, but there are daily consequences for hundreds of people across Stirling, thousands across Scotland and 890,000 people UK-wide. Sadly, a number of policyholders have died still suffering the losses that were not their fault.’

‘The facts of this matter are really not in doubt; this issue has been investigated to death. The parliamentary ombudsman has produced a report on it, we have had the Penrose inquiry, and the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions has also conducted a major inquiry—and all made the same recommendation that there was an injustice that should be rectified.

‘The findings have been well ventilated and the fact remains today that a settlement of 22.4% for the policyholders is unjust and unfair. It has daily consequences for hundreds of thousands of people across these islands, and it undermines trust and faith in the pensions sector going forward, so there are real-world policy implications right now. It is high time that the UK Government put this historical wrong to right, and I look forward to hearing some better news from the UK Minister [today] than we have heard from his predecessors.’

Mr Smith added:

‘Ordinary people are now suffering from a total failure of state regulation, and by poor management practices. They invested in this pension fund in good faith, safe in the knowledge they were saving for their retirement. The compensation package offered by the government in 2010 did not go far enough, and many people across my constituency need urgent action on this.’

Notes:

Watch the speech here.

Link to the Equitable Members Action Group website: https://emag.today/

Guardian News: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/jun/15/equitable-life-to-shut-down-with-surprise-18bn-policyholder-windfall