Regulation 14 of the Employment Equality (repeal of Retirement Age provisions) Regulations which came into force from 6 April 2011 allows employers to stop providing insured benefits, such as life assurance, to employees from the later of age 65 and state pensionable age (“SPA”) without the practice being age discriminatory. On the face of it, the exemption is good news for employers who previously had to objectively justify such practices, but there are problems, including:

  • It is not certain that the exemption applies where the insured benefits are provided through an occupational pension scheme.
  • The exemption does not apply if insured benefits are stopped at any  age other than age 65 (or SPA if later).

Comment

For the reasons outlined, employers should consider the issue carefully before seeking to rely on the exemption. With life cover now widely available until age 75, we consider that schemes may need to reconsider any objective justification for not providing life cover at least until age 75 for employees