The Equitable Life (Payments) Bill passed its second and third readings in the House of Lords yesterday, but not without renewed calls for pre-1992 annuitants to be included in compensation payouts.
The Bill does not specifically state how much compensation will be paid, but, once given Royal Assent, will give the government the power to make compensation payments to victims via NS&I.
Though no amendments were made to the Bill, UKIP Lord Willoughby de Broke demanded answers from commercial secretary Lord Sasson as to why Equitable policyholders who annuitised before 1991 will receive no compensation.
Lord Willoughby de Broke (pictured) said: "It is worse for [pre-1992 annuitants] because they are older and have no real means of support other than their pension payments, which have been greatly reduced.
"The substance of [Treasury secretary Mark Hoban's] argument was because of Equitable Life's maladministration, the earlier pensioners were so-called ‘over-bonused' in the years before 1992; I do not think that stacks up either factually or morally.
"The Chancellor has just tossed £7bn to the Irish government to bail out their failing banks; surely pensions in this country deserve just as much."
Lord Sassoon replied: "[Pre-19912 annuitants] took out policies before any maladministration could have affected their decisions.
"With-profits annuitants (WPAs) were affected by Equitable Life being run badly, in part as a result of the government's maladministration.
"Sir John Chadwick and Towers Watson concluded the pre-1992 WPAs received more from Equitable Life than they would have if the society had been properly regulated because Equitable Life paid out more to them in the early years than it would have done if there had been no maladministration."
The final version of the Bill is still subject to Royal Assent before it becomes law.
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