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Gender equality: How it affects you

Gender equality: How it affects you

Category: Retirement

Updated: 07/12/2016
First Published: 23/11/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

In just a few weeks' time all financial service companies will be required by law to set all prices on a gender neutral basis meaning insurance companies will be adjusting their premiums so they treat men and women equally.

• What are the changes?

The European Court of Justice has ruled that no company should quote rates based on whether the customer is a man or a woman.

The rules will affect the pricing on a host of financial products including life insurance, car insurance and pension annuity products.

As a result of the Court's decision, the Government is amending the Equality Act to reflect the changes.

• When do the changes occur?

Gender neutral pricing will come into force on 21 December 2012.

Some providers have already adopted a gender neutral approach with their rates and pricing, including Prudential and Legal & General.

• How do they affect me as a consumer?

A lot of speculation has been made as to how the changes will impact on individuals; however, it is difficult to make a general assumption as all pricing will be based purely on a consumer's individual circumstances, not gender.

Book an appointment with a financial adviser who will be able to assess how the changes may affect you.

Any existing policies you may have are unlikely to be affected. If the policies are reviewed or renewed then there may be an impact on the level of future premiums or benefits as they may be calculated on the new gender neutral pricing rates.

• How can I avoid being stung by the changes?

There is still time to shop around before the changes take affect.

Research the market thoroughly before agreeing to your pension provider's annuity offer, in case you can get a better deal elsewhere. If you have already purchased an annuity, you cannot change your retirement annuity provider, so it's important to purchase the right product.

• What if I receive a quote just before 21 December?

Any quotes which are based upon differential pricing rates, taking gender into account, are unlikely to be valid after 21 December 2012.

All quotes and prices given after 21 December will be based on a gender neutral basis, regardless of whether you received a previous quote and could differ greatly.

Check with your provider if you have any concerns surrounding quotes given in the run-up to 21 December.

What next?

That means it's worth visiting to check you're still getting a great price and the right cover for you.

Compare car insurance quotes
Compare life insurance quotes
Find the best annuity rates

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.