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

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Annuity rates for men could drop by almost 15%

It is no secret that the UK pension industry is currently undergoing a bit of a crisis. Many people who have retired or are due to retire shortly will be living on shoestring budgets, a far cry from the comfortable retirement they might have imagined.

To prevent the current state of affairs from re-occurring, the Government introduced auto-enrolment, which comes into force today (Monday 1 October), and is set to help employees enjoy a good income in retirement.

But another problem has now surfaced, especially where men are concerned.From 21 December 2012, financial service companies and giant insurers will be banned from using gender to set prices for products.

Both pensions and annuities will be affected by the EU Gender Directive, with men in particular poised to lose out on annuities.

Men are currently offered more generous annuities than women, because they typically have lower life expectancies than women.

However, experts predict that once the EU Directive comes into force and pension providers equalise rates offered to men and women, annuity rates for men could plummet by up to 13%.

Rates for females are forecast to remain the same, and only pensions taken out from 21 December will be affected by the ruling.

Women are also poised to lose out courtesy of unisex insurance policies.

Despite the fact that women typically have a longer life expectancy than men, the shake-up will see females facing a substantial increase in their life insurance premiums.

At present, women are charged less than men for life insurance on the grounds that they are expected to live longer. For example, a 30-year-old woman would pay an average of 22% less than a man for an equivalent amount of life insurance, according to Money-minder.com.

But their premiums are set to soar with the enforcement of unisex policies –and it is the same story with car insurance.

The new gender rule will not take into account that young male drivers make the most expensive claims, and women are likely to pay an extra 25% for car insurance, according to industry estimates – which could add as much as £450 onto the average bill.

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