What steps he is taking to ensure as many policy- holders as possible are identified before the Equitable Life payment scheme closes to new claimants on
The Equitable Life payment scheme has already gone to great lengths to find policyholders, including checking against credit histories, a national advertising campaign and sending letters to last-known addresses. Thanks to that, almost 90% of policyholders have been paid. Where possible the scheme is now tracing all those remaining who are due £50 or more against DWP, national insurance numbers and address records.
I accept that this Government and their predecessor have done much—more than anybody before did—to right an injustice that was done. But Equitable Life policyholders were victims of a regulatory failure, for which ultimately government is responsible. As the economy grows, is it not time, out of decency and fairness towards that diminishing group of elderly people, to revisit the amount to be paid in compensation?
I am sure that my hon. Friend will welcome the fact that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, in his excellent summer Budget, did in fact announce that all eligible non-annuitant policyholders in receipt of pension credit will see their lump sum payments doubled.