Age Discrimination: Insurance exemption

The default retirement age (DRA) of 65 was abolished from 1 October 2011. Introduced to tie in with the abolition of the DRA, the Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011 allow employers to withdraw or refuse to offer “insurance or a financial related service” to employees aged 65 or over (or over state pension age if greater).

However, the way in which the exemption is framed is not helpful to pension schemes as:

  • the exemption is available only if the cover is provided by the employer to the employee directly, and does not refer to trustees holding insurance; and
  • it refers only to insurance, meaning that schemes with self-insured death benefits are not covered.