The EU Gender Directive will remove price differences between men and women on insurance products from 21 December 2012. PwC predicts that male pensioners could see their annuity payouts reduced by up to £10,000* over the lifetime of their policy as a result.

Raj Mody, head of pensions consulting at PwC, said: “While a small number of women will be better off from the ruling, eight out of ten annuities currently sold in the UK are bought by men, so many more people risk losing out than gaining. Women who are beneficiaries of joint life annuities purchased by their male partner will also be affected as they will end up with a lower income.

“With annuity rates under even more pressure, it is more vital than ever that people shop around for the best rate and do not simply accept the rate offered by their pension provider. The difference between the best and worst annuity rates in the market can easily be around 20% to 30%.”

Philippe Guijarro, life insurance partner, PwC said: “To ensure price equality, insurers will now need to disregard gender. The directive limits the ability of the insurance industry to fairly price the risk being taken on. Men will see their annuity payouts fall and women will see their life insurance premiums rise.

“The key question for insurers and consumers alike, is where will the directive lead the industry next?”

*This figure of £10,000 is calculated using ABI’s ‘decrease for male annuitants’ expectations, price comparison data on ‘male annual annuity payments’ based on a £100,000 premium size, National Statistics’ ‘number of years expected to live’ and ‘allowance for future investment returns

 

This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice. All views in this article are opinions of the Expats Pensions team. We specialise in helping people that have left the UK evaluate the possibility of taking their UK pension with them. For further information please visit http://www.expatspensions.com