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Discrimination and Pensions - key card

Key Points

  • The Equality Act 2010 prohibits direct discrimination and indirect discrimination on the grounds of a protected characteristic.
  • The protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act are sex, age, religion or belief, race, sexual orientation, gender reassignments, pregnancy & maternity, marriage and civil partnership, and disability.
  • With the exception of age, direct discrimination cannot be objectively justified, but indirect discrimination can be.
  • There are particular exemptions in the Equality Act and associated regulations that apply to pension schemes, notably in relation to age.
  • Trustees of occupational pension schemes are liable to their members or prospective members if they discriminate in terms of the offer of membership or benefits provided under the scheme, for example.
  • All occupational pension schemes are deemed to include a non-discrimination rule, regardless of what the rules say.
  • The Equality Act 2010 also applies (with certain important exceptions) to providers of goods and services.

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