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By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Jun 20, 2012

Women to be hit hardest by ECJ gender ruling, Scot Prov

Plans are “well underway” at Bright Grey and Scottish Provident to move towards gender neutral pricing by the 21 December 2012 deadline, the insurer announced today (20 June).

In March 2011, the European Court of Justice ruled that insurers cannot charge different annuity rates for men and women.

Roger Edwards, proposition director of Bright Grey & Scottish Provident, said both Bright Grey and Scottish Provident have set up webpages dedicated to reminding advisers of this issue.

He said: “These will remind advisers of the deadline to ‘G-Day’ and give marketing support to help them explain the impact to their clients, making our strategy for managing business clear as well as continuing to promote the opportunities involved.”

Commentators have said the ECJ ruling will increase the cost of annuities for women and will directly affect any pension schemes which insure death benefits or secure benefits by buying annuities.

However, the insurer is confident the gender directive will not affect its underwriting “in any way”.

Mr Edwards added: “Policies must have started by 20 December 2012 to qualify for gender differentiated rates, so we will not offer our usual pipeline process. We are testing our systems before putting together a definitive plan for cases in pipeline on 21 December 2012 and will let you know more about this nearer the time. In the meantime advisers should look out for updates on the gender directive part of our websites.

“One thing which we can’t do, for competitive reasons, is to give advance examples of what prices will be after G-Day. It is worth reiterating that we hope women, in particular, take advantage of our current pricing plans before the gender directive comes into force.”

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