Discrimination law has caused problems for pension schemes ever since 1990, when schemes were required to ‘equalise’ pensions for men and women, providing them with the same standard retirement age. It took almost 20 years for the courts to clarify requirements and the solution still necessitates careful legal analysis. Since then, there have been further rules on discrimination relating to:
Dealing with discrimination risks requires Trustees to understand a range of issues, from the use of comparators to objective justification, and it can often involve working closely with employers to resolve difficulties. Issues are rarely straightforward, as improving benefits for one group may be discriminatory against another. It is common to find that mistakes have occurred many years ago, resulting in scheme documentation that does not accurately reflect members’ entitlements. ARC Pensions Law can ensure that these issues are navigated in a practical and appropriate manner.