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I have received quite a few queries recently on what the final outcome was of the Test Achat case on gender equality in annuity rates.

Well it didn’t quite work out as the gloom and doom predicted by some.

Quite a few pundits were expecting male annuity rates to drop to the same level as female gender specific rates – about an 8% – 12% change, and as we mentioned in an earlier email in November it started to look as if things weren’t going to go according to plan.

Well the upshot is that rates haven’t fallen as far as expected and I recently read an article on some analysis of the rates conducted by Better Retirement Group that suggests for a 65 year old male with a £100,000 fund the rates have fallen by only 0.86%.

If only the same was true for my daughter’s car insurance!

Pension reports

Do you still need a pensions report I hear you ask?

Well as always it depends. If parties are the same age and the only pensions are money purchase such as personal pensions then the answer is probably not.

However if the parties are of different ages and equality of income is required then probably you will still need a report, and if there are defined benefits and you want equality of income then almost definitely you will!

One thing always to be aware of is the accuracy of the information available though. I recently dealt with a case, it wasn’t actually a divorce but a client approaching her retirement, where she could buy an annuity on the open market of £4,800 per annum, but on investigation it transpired that the guaranteed pension in her existing retirement annuity will provide an income of over £16,000 per annum in 18 months’ time.

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