Article in This French Life
Compensation plan for Equitable Life policyholders in France
By Craig McGinty on May 12, 2010 in Business.
A NUMBER of people who retired to France had their lives turned upside down by the collapse of Equitable Life in 2000.
But in a joint policy statement from the UK coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats they have said that Equitable Life policy holders will receive 'fair and transparent payments'.
Policy holders living in Europe have been lobbying for compensation through the Equitable Members Action Group (EMAG), who have welcomed the decision.
Paul Weir, EMAG spokesman said: "EMAG welcomes the new government’s commitment to implement the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report in full.
"After 10 years of denial and obstruction by the previous administration it’s been a long time coming.
"Sadly many thousands of Equitable pensioners have died without justice, sacrificed on the altar of Gordon Brown's defence of 'lite touch' regulation."
From his home in the Gers, Graham Richards regional coordinator for EMAG Europe, said: "This is indeed very welcome news for all expat EMAG policyholders living in France and other countries as well who haven't just been hit by Brown's former Government keeping this issue permanently in the long grass and causing much misery and personal suffering.
"But also the removal of several old age pension rights for expat pensioners even thou they did pay in prior to leaving the UK before moving to France.
"The severe fluctuation in the foreign exchange rate has also brought further misery and belt tightening to many.
"Full credit to the newly elected Conservative/Liberal Democrat government for moving things forward in a such a quick and positive manner and standing by what they both put in their election manifestos."
The commitment from the two parties reads: "We agree to implement the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman’s recommendation to make fair and transparent payments to Equitable Life policy holders, through an independent payment scheme, for their relative loss as a consequence of regulatory failure."
Listen to EMAG Europe campaigners Graham Richards and David Rosemont on Expats Radio!
The EMAG struggle to get compensation continues
This programme is the second Expatsradio interview with two of the expat Equitable Life policyholders who have been hit hard by the collapse of the pension scheme. It clearly underlines the difficulties it has caused to those who did their best to provide for their retirement. You will surely have heard notables such as Honor Blackman talking about the government response to the crisis. Expatsradio will follow the progress of the EMAG campaign through regular features.
In this programme both Graham Richards and David Rosemont feel that the latest steps have done little to improve matters.
These are the points they made:
The disappointment of the Chadwick 3 Interim Report, and the effective rejection of implementing the Ombudsman’s Report. In particular both the lack of transparency and the basket of life companies used in the comparator; for instance why wasn’t Prudential included?
The importance of the expat vote this coming General Election.
Other issues that effect expats like; Fuel Allowance, Disability Allowance, Voting Rights. These have all been brought about as a result of the Brown administration. What does Brown have against expats?
Equitable victims have suffered enough. Further delay or miserly compensation will only serve to increase the anger of policyholders. A million plus Equitable Life victims simply can’t understand the very different treatment of savers in Icelandic banks and wonder when fairness begins for them. They reckon it's time for the government to own up and pay up. www.emag.org.uk