The Equality Bill continues its progress through Parliament. One government amendment in relation to occupational pensions rectifies an omission which we noted in last month's edition of Pensions Update. At that stage the Bill gave trustees an overriding power to modify their scheme rules by resolution to comply with the non-discrimination requirement only in relation to sex equality. The new amendment extends this to other types of discrimination.

The new amendment to the Bill can be found here. The result of this amendment is that trustees will be able to use the power in the same circumstances as currently apply under section 65 of the Pensions Act 1995 (equal treatment):

  • if they do not have power to amend or
  • if the amendment procedure is "liable to be unduly complex or protracted" or "involves obtaining consents which cannot be obtained or which can be obtained only with undue delay or difficulty".

For background information on the Equality Bill, see Pensions Update, May 2009

The new amendment to the Bill can be found here.