Q&As

How do the bridging pensions exceptions in Equality Act 2010 (Sex Equality Rule) (Exceptions) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/2132, reg 2 apply to the Barber case?

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Last updated on 28/03/2019

The following Pensions Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How do the bridging pensions exceptions in Equality Act 2010 (Sex Equality Rule) (Exceptions) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/2132, reg 2 apply to the Barber case?

How do the bridging pensions exceptions in Equality Act 2010 (Sex Equality Rule) (Exceptions) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/2132, reg 2 apply to the Barber case?

These exceptions apply in respect of bridging pensions, which are the subject of the Practice Note: Bridging pensions.

As explained in the Practice Note, bridging pensions are a form of pension provided by some (but not all) defined benefit occupational pension schemes in circumstances where a member’s scheme pension commences before state pension age (SPA). As the name suggests, bridging pensions are a form of temporary 'top-up' pension intended to 'bridge the gap' between the date on which the relevant member's 'normal' scheme pension comes into payment, and a later date, typically the member’s SPA when their state pension commences.

Until 5 November 2018, the SPA of men and women was unequal. The consequent inequality in bridging pensions gave rise to criticisms, particularly following the Barber case.

This eventually led to the testing of the legality of bridging pensions under European law before the ECJ in the case of Birds Eye Walls Limited v Roberts.

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Key definition:
Bridging pension definition
What does Bridging pension mean?

Temporary pension sometimes paid to members who retire before State pension age to fill the gap between retirement and the start of the State pension. Originally designed to compensate male members unable to receive the State pension which an equivalent female member (with a lower State pension age) received.

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