Making no secret of its
dislike of the concept, the UK Treasury has opened a consultation
on the implementation of the European Court of Justice’s ruling
banning the use of gender as a risk factor by insurers as from 21
December 2012 (see EU insurers’
gender headache

In a statement, the Treasury noted:
“The government believes that nobody should be treated unfairly
because of their gender, but that financial services providers
should be allowed to make sensible decisions based on sound
analysis of relevant risk factors. Despite this, the judgment is
binding in UK law.”

The Treasury stated that in its
consultation the central assumption is that gender equality will
result in an initial and marked net increase in the cost of
premiums, with those in lower-risk categories suffering significant
increases, subsidising the lesser reductions for those in
higher-risk categories.

In particular, the Treasury noted
that it is seeking input from insurers of the number of term life
policyholders and annuitants, and the gender mix, to allow for an
estimation of the aggregate impact of the gender ruling to be

In addition, the Treasury has
placed a high priority on input from insurers relating to the costs
of implementing the gender ruling.

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