The Test-Achats case—the pension implications
Produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers
The Test-Achats case—the pension implications

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

  • The Test-Achats case—the pension implications
  • Common insurance practices before the Test-Achats case
  • The application of EU equality principles
  • The reasoning in Test-Achats
  • Implications of Test-Achats for insurers
  • Implications of Test-Achats for pension schemes
  • Current legal position for pension schemes—the actuarial factor derogation
  • Scope of the actuarial factor derogation
  • Future developments for pension schemes

Common insurance practices before the Test-Achats case

Insurance companies used to apply certain common practices before the Association belge des Consommateurs Test-Achats v Conseil des Ministres case:

  1. statistically, women are likely to live longer than men, so insurance companies commonly offered women a lower annuity for the same capital sum because it has to be paid for longer

  2. statistically, men have more car accidents than women, so insurance companies commonly charged men (and, in particular, young men) higher premiums for motor insurance

  3. statistically, women are more likely to claim under health-related insurance policies than men, so insurance companies commonly charged women higher premiums for such policies

These results followed from putting men and women in different classes for the purpose of risk assessment. It is obviously possible for insurers to calculate the cost of annuities or the premium for types of insurance on the basis of classes containing both men and women.

The application of EU equality principles

The case Association belge des Consommateurs Test-Achats v Conseil des Ministres (the Test-Achats case) concerned the use of actuarial factors related to sex in the provision of insurance and related financial benefits. The underlying question was whether the division of men and women into different insurance classes with the consequent differences in insurance and related financial benefits was contrary to the