Where did all my money go?
Your money was taken from you to fill in a multi-billion pound hole in Equitable’s finances. In the 1990s Equitable was declaring joke bonuses with money it hadn’t got and sucking in billions in new business to keep the ship afloat.
It was a Ponzi scheme (similar to what is often called a “pyramid” scheme) where money from new entrants is used to pay out benefits to people leaving. When the music stopped there was no more money to pay out and those of us who were left got hurt. The Society imposed savage cuts to members’ pensions, bonds, annuities and managed pensions. And instead of implementing a rescue or going to the industry’s compensation scheme (FSCS) the Government and the Society’s new directors decided to let us twist in the wind.
Our private pension with Equitable is the only one we have ever had and as they were such an old established company I trusted them completely. How wrong I was. My wife and I are both in our early 80's now and we feel bitter about the whole debacle. Many of the dreams we had are no longer affordable, the holidays we planned are no longer possible. I am subject to anxiety and fearful we shall not be able to pay bills with increased living costs in our retirement combined with such an enormous reduction in our pension.
We have always been in a low income bracket and therefore knew we would not receive a good pension so we gave up the idea of holidays abroad and similar luxuries so that we could save to supplement our pension to do the things we always wanted when we retired. Because of the reduced pension my husband has had to continue to work and at almost 74 he is working as a driver taking people to airports - the trips can be anything from leaving home at 4am or arriving home at midnight. I am not the person I was before the Equitable saga I am not sleeping, tearful and irritable so I had to resort to sedatives, tranquillizers and antidepressants over the ensuing years and all this is on my medical records as stress caused by Equitable. Each year as the new pension statements become due I find myself waking in the middle of the night worrying about it and with facts and figures going round in my head.