Gender discrimination ruling to favour some divorcing husbands

Gender discrimination ruling to favour some divorcing husbands


The European Court of Justice has ruled today that insurers cannot charge different premiums to men and women because of their gender. The ruling will have far-reaching ramifications in numerous areas, one of which will be how pensions are divided on divorce. Because women have longer life expectancies, annuity providers have historically charged a woman more to provide an annuity, than a man of the same age. If providers can no longer discriminate on a gender basis, annuity rates will be affected. Experts have predicted that the cost of buying an annuity will probably fall slightly for women, but will rise for men.

For a divorcing husband with a contributory pension scheme, this cloud may have a narrow silver lining. He is likely to have to part with less of his pension fund than previously, because he will need more to buy an annuity, while his wife will need a bit less.

If you are in the process of divorcing, this ruling could necessitate a re-consideration of any advice obtained about how to fairly share pensions, and in some cases a re-consideration of agreements already reached.

Please feel free to contact Nicola Harries on 01483 401262 or by email to if you wish to discuss this or any other family law issues.

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