Consultant calls for help from MP over Equitable Life pension

October 19, 2010 11:36 AM

HuppertRetired Cambridge hospital consultant, Robert Campbell, has called for help from MP Julian Huppert after losing a significant amount of his private pension in the near collapse of Equitable Life 10 years ago.

Mr Campbell invested in the company when he retired in 1996 intending that the fund would boost his National Health Service pension and give him a retirement fund close to his earnings.

But now he must wait along with millions of other investors for the government to reveal in the Comprehensive Spending Review tomorrow ( Wednesday, October 20) how much compensation it will pay.

Mr Campbell said: "I don't see any reason why the government cannot stagger any payment and give the maximum payout to older members first.

"It seems wrong to me that the government is cutting back its departments by 20 or 30 per cent and the Equitable Life members are expected to take a cut of between 70 and 80 per cent.

"I don't feel that the taxpayer is under any obligation to bail out an insurance company but the government has made a promise. If this had been dealt with 10 years ago the money would have been paid out by now.

"I feel sorry for those people facing real hardship who depend entirely on their pension fund in later years."

Julian and his fellow Liberal Democrats pushed for the Equitable Life Bill which gave the Treasury the authority to make payments to policyholders or dependents who have been fighting the Labour Government for compensation since 2000.

And he signed a letter to Treasury Minister, Mark Hoban calling on the government for fair compensation for policyholders claiming it is a "debt of honour long overdue".

Julian said: ""The previous government continually ignored the millions of people who lost their savings.

"People in Cambridge lost up to half their pensions in the fiasco yet Labour failed to act. These are people who made the effort to provide for their own pension and they should receive what is due to them.

"We should honour our coalition promise to make fair and transparent payments to Equitable Life policy holders, through an independent payment scheme."

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