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'Gender-neutral' rates set to put less of a dent on male annuities

The roll out of "unisex" rates ahead of the introduction of the EU Gender Directive on 21 December will see the income for men who buy annuities fall by less than expected, according to the latest rates from one leading insurer.

While estimates from the Association of British Insurers suggest the that directive will cause annuity income for men to drop by 8%, and rise for women, by 6%, Prudential’s new 'gender-neutral' rates indicate a more modest fall for men.

Prudential's latest annuity rates mean that a 65-year-old man will see his annual pension income dip by just 1.5%, while the women of the same age would see her annuity income lifted by 6.5%.

For a 60-year-old man this figure would be a more significant drop of 2.5%, while a woman of the same age would see an increase of 4.5%.
“Prudential seems to have effectively levelled up to the male rate,” said Tom McPhail, of Hargreaves Lansdown.

“This is not what we were expecting, although it must be said that the Pru was not competitive for conventional annuities in the first place – it prefers to sell its with-profits annuities.”

The EU Gender Directive will mean that gender can no longer be factored into premium calculations, meaning that men will no longer enjoy a higher rate of annuity income as a result of their shorter life expectancies.

Prudential said: “Prudential is moving ahead of so-called ‘G-Day’ on 21 December in order to provide certainty and a definitive timeline for advisers and clients, so they can start considering their options now.”

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