Equitable Life compensation will take five more years

Equitable Life investors will start to receive compensation from the end of next month, the Government said yesterday. Some £775m will be paid out to about 945,000 policyholders, while £620m will be shared among 37,000 with-profits annuitants.

However, payments will be spread over five years, which prompted anger from victims of the scandal. Paul Braithwaite, the general secretary of the Equitable Members Action Group, said: "It's taken the Government 10 months to come out with a penny-pinching payment scheme to be eked out over the next five years – why can't the victims, who've already waited a decade, be paid out their due this year?"

He warned that many more annuitants will die before they receive the compensation they are due. The Treasury said all policyholders due a payment would receive a letter before June 2012 telling them how much they will get and approximately when they will receive it. However, those not due anything will not be contacted at all. That includes some 100,000 policyholders whose losses were less than £10, which will be sucked up in administrative costs.

Mark Hoban, the financial secretary to the Treasury, said the payment scheme had been designed "to reflect the principles of fairness, transparency and simplicity". He claimed: "When payments start in the middle of this year, it will be a huge milestone for the policyholders who have waited so many years for the resolution of this matter."

But Mr Braithwaite, whose group has campaigned for more than 11 years for justice for Equitable Life victims, said most of the 950,000 non-pensioner victims "will be stunned when they see how low the Treasury has calculated their losses to be, and further outraged when they see that figure is slashed by about 80 per cent".

The Government has admitted that policyholders suffered "relative losses" of £4.1bn, but decided it could not afford to repay that amount. Only annuity holders will be compensated in full; payments to other investors will amount to less than a quarter of the amount they lost. However, all compensation will be tax-free.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral