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The Difference Between The Best And Worst Pension Incomes Can Be Very Surprising

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Government announce that they will not extend gender-neutral pricing

Industry experts have warned that the government’s decision not to extend gender-neutral pricing to occupational pension schemes will create a "two-tiered" annuity market.

From December 21st, insurers will not be able to use gender as a factor when setting benefits and premiums for insured parties.

The Treasury argued that they: "[did] not feel there is sufficient evidence at this stage" to extend a European ban which sees gender being used as a risk factor for occupational pension plans and insurance pricing.

Gender-specific pricing on occupational pensions is still permitted under The Equal Treatment Directive. However, this is not currently applicable to other pensions, which are covered by the Gender Directive.

The government argued that it will monitor the impact of the changes once the new rules come into effect, and consider a fresh wave of measures if necessary.

Responding to the government’s initial consultation, some have argued that unless the changes apply to annuities purchased by both the trustee of an occupational pension scheme and individuals, a “two tier” market would be created.

The government’s decision follows a test case, known as Test-Achats, ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in March 2011 which found that using gender as a factor in the calculation of premiums and benefits was contrary to European gender discrimination laws. The UK will incorporate this judgment via changes to the Equality Act.

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