THE EUROPEAN Parliament is to hold a formal "committee of inquiry" into the Equitable Life debacle following fierce campaigning by policyholders, reports this morning's Daily Telegraph .
More than 200 MEPs have signed a petition proposing an investigation into Equitable after a million people saw the value of their retirement savings and investments slashed, and on the back of this, the parliament's "conference of presidents" has backed their request.
Campaigners says the official report into what went wrong highlights failures which contributed to investors losing around £4bn.
LOBBYING BY THE Equitable Members Action Group has forced the investigation, as Paul Braithwaite, the EMAG’s general secretary, argues the official contents of the government-commissioned Penrose Report were stacked in favour of the government, according to the Scotsman.
"The other inquiries were set up by the British government to be kicked into deep field," says Braithwaite. "Lord Penrose wrote a very thorough report, but he was precluded from apportioning blame or recommending compensation."
A committee is being set up to be convened in January but the investigation will then have to be endorsed by a parliament vote before it can proceed.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR has snuck out changes to the judicial pension scheme which will allow judges to escape the post A-Day 55% tax which must be paid on pension pots worth over £1.5m, says the Times.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton is said to have “quietly released” a written ministerial statement on the changes, 13 months after his original Judicial Pensions Bill first proposed the idea to compensate judges for the tax charge with enhanced retirement benefits – placing most other individuals at a disadvantage.
Falconer had previously argued they should receive enhancements as many barristers take a pay cut to join the bench but do so on the basis they will receive an enhanced pension after 20 years, and any such change might therefore deter them from joining the bench.
Rather than offer enhanced pensions, the judicial pension scheme will instead be de-registered from the Finance Act 2004 so it is no longer governed by the lifetime limit.
AND COMPENSATION TO 40,000 victims of the split capital investment trust scandal will be delayed by at least two months, continues the Times.
The £144 million fund set up to administer compensation said that the first payouts, were originally set to be paid out this month but it is now anticipated they will not be sent out until March at the earliest.
Fund Distribution Ltd (FDL) said processing and validating applications had taken longer than expected but the initial compensation will not be announced until the end of January.IFAonline
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