Equalisation and Barber—the pension implications
Produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers

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

  • Equalisation and Barber—the pension implications
  • The equal pay principle and pensions
  • The basic problem
  • From what date does Barber have to be applied?
  • Practical challenges of equalisation
  • New joiners
  • Existing members
  • The Barber window
  • Consequences of equalisation
  • Scope of Barber
  • More...

Equalisation and Barber—the pension implications

This Practice Note contains references to case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Broadly, EU judgments handed down on or before 31 December 2020 continue to be binding on UK courts and tribunals (even if the EU courts later depart from them) until the UK courts exercise their powers to diverge. For the most part, EU case law made after that date is not binding on the UK, although the UK courts and tribunals may continue to ‘have regard to’ EU judgments if relevant. For more detailed information on the treatment of EU case law, see Practice Note: Introduction to retained EU law. 

The equal pay principle and pensions

Article 157 of the Retained Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (the successor to Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome and Article 141 of the EC Treaty) sets out the principle that men and women are entitled to equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. This is commonly known as the ‘equal pay’ principle. In the Barber case handed down on 17 May 1990, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) (now the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEU)) ruled that pensions paid under the terms of a private occupational pension scheme are deferred remuneration, so that the equal pay principle

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