The Treausry has confirmed occupational pension schemes will not be forced to comply with gender neutrality legislation when providing members with annuities.
In a consultation response to the European Court of Justice ruling that insurance benefits and premiums after 21 December should be gender-neutral, the government said industry fears over the creation of a "two tiered annuity market" were grave enough to extend the Equality Act to cover work-based pension schemes.
The response said: "We acknowledge the concerns of those who believe that the judgment will result in a two tiered annuity market and that such a market will be detrimental to consumers and industry. Some respondents to the consultation have called for the government to extend the Equality Act to cover work based pension schemes as well as personal pension plans.
"On this issue, while we remain concerned about negative impacts of the judgment we do not feel there is sufficient evidence at this stage to justify extension of the requirement to provide gender neutral pricing of annuities to work-based pension arrangements as well as personal pensions."
The document said the government would need to consider whether there are grounds for this extension, taking into account the impact on members across the different types of pension schemes and the extent to which insurers start to offer a single pricing regime across all schemes.
It added any proposals would require further consultation.
The European Commission confirmed its ban on gender-based annuity pricing would not apply to occupational defined benefit (DB) schemes in December, last year.
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