Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) decision on 17 May 1990 in Barber v Guardian Royal Exchange.
The Barber case (and subsequent ECJ cases) read EU law to mean that employers and occupational pension schemes are generally required not to discriminate on the grounds of gender when offering pension benefits for service after the date of the decision. Benefits relating to service before the decision are not affected. The Pensions Act 1995 has since enshrined this principle in domestic UK law.
However, 20 years on a number of issues that arose out of Barber remain unresolved and are still causing problems for pension schemes.
For a fuller discussion on this subject see our 17 May 2010 press release on our website.