Equitable Victims Face More Delays and Disappointment

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Byline: Ruth Sunderland Associate City Editor

THOUSANDS of victims of the Equitable Life collapse face more delays in receiving compensation for their losses in the failed pension company.

Some 37,000 pensioners will have part of their payments spread out over five years, dashing hopes they were in line for a lump-sum cheque this summer and raising concerns some may die before they receive the full amount.

Details of the complicated compensation scheme were spelled out in a 50-page Treasury document published yesterday.

A sum of [pounds sterling]1.5billion will be paid in total to 945,000 victims. The first payments are due to be made by the end of next month, and [pounds sterling]1billion will be handed out over the next three years.

But campaigners say 10,000 of the oldest surviving pensioners have been 'callously excluded from compensation' and will receive nothing at all.

And a million victims will remain in the dark on what they will receive for up to a year because the Treasury is sending out letters explaining the awards over a 12 month period. Some will not receive any payments until 2014.

Policyholders have waited more than a decade for compensation after the company came to the brink of ruin in 2000. More than 30,000 have died over that time without receiving a penny because the Labour government resisted all attempts to come to a settlement.

A coruscating report in 2008 by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Ann Abraham, found wholesale maladministration on the part of the previous government and the regulators and recommended compensation should be paid. …