Tuesday, 22 March 2011

ECJ gender ruling ‘a positive for QROPS’

The ECJ’s recent ruling on sex discrimination in the underwriting of insurance-based products could be positive news for QROPS, according to Close’s Rex Cowley.

The European Court of Justice ruled earlier this week that European insurers can no longer offer policies based on people’s gender, including products such as annuities, where typically men receive a higher income as they are expected to live shorter lives.

However, while many believe this could have a detrimental effect on consumers, as it is expected that women will simply be offered a lower income, rather than men more, Cowley said for QROPS providers operating from countries outside of the EU the ruling could have a positive impact.

“Schemes which are not part of the EU, for example Guernsey domiciled schemes, will not be caught by this European ruling,” he said.

“The advantage of this is that the benefit payable under a QROPS is that the annuity income stream can be tailored to meet the specific individual's set of circumstances. In a world where wealth management is becoming more and more bespoke, tailored benefit payments are desirable, particularly when age, health and gender can all have a bearing on the amount of income one can earn.”

The ECJ ruling, which was made on Tuesday this week, will come into force on 21 December 2012

For expert QROPS advice go to http://www.qrops-advisers.com or call 01664 444625

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