Workplace pensions exempt from compulsory unisex insurance pricing

Occupational pensions will be exempt from a European directive which is set to make it compulsory for insurers to adopt the same prices for men and women.

In March 2011, the European Court of Justice ruled that gender-based pricing of insurance products was incompatible with human rights.

However, in a communication document published on 22 December 2011, the European Commission confirmed that the directive only covers private insurance and pensions.

It stated: “Some insurance products, such as annuities, contribute to retirement income. The directive, however, only covers insurance and pensions, which are private, voluntary and separate from the employment relationship, employment and occupation being explicitly excluded from its scope.

“Equal treatment of women and men in relation to occupational pensions is covered by Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities, and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation.”

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