Age discrimination for pension lawyers
Produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers
Age discrimination for pension lawyers

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Age discrimination for pension lawyers
  • Age discrimination—the statutory framework
  • What is age discrimination?
  • Requirement for comparator
  • Age discrimination and pension schemes
  • Time limits
  • Objective justification
  • Exceptions
  • Consequences of age discrimination
  • Abolition of the default retirement age: implications for pension schemes
  • more

Age discrimination—the statutory framework

Statutory provisions prohibiting age discrimination were first introduced into English law in 2006 as a result of developments in European law, in particular the Equal Treatment Framework Directive 2000. The provisions applied in relation to employment generally and not just in relation to pension schemes.

The statutory framework is now contained in the Equality Act 2010 (the Equality Act) and (for pension schemes) the Equality Act (Age Exceptions for Pension Schemes) Order 2010, SI 2010/2133 (the Age Exceptions Order), which replaced the previous regime with effect from 1 October 2010 without making significant alterations. This means that where schemes were amended or practices were changed on the original introduction of legislation to prohibit age discrimination, the 2010 statutory provisions should not of themselves make further changes necessary. Some minor amendments have since been made, principally to reflect changes to the state pension, and the discussion which follows is based on the current version of the Order.

The Equality Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of nine specified protected characteristics, which include age.

What is age discrimination?

There are two types of age discrimination:

  1. direct age discrimination, and

  2. indirect age discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs if, on the ground of age, A treats B less favourably than he treats or would treat another person.

A does not directly discriminate against