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Non-EU firms could sidestep court verdict with Qrops

The European Court’s decision to ban gender-based annuity pricing leaves the door open for non-EU insurers to set up gender-risk-rated Qrops products, according to London & Colonial.

L&C chief executive Ken Wrench says: “There might be an opportunity for a major insurer outside the EU, such as Zurich in Switzerland or Challenger in Australia, to set up a Qrops. If a provider set up a scheme outside the EU’s jurisdiction, it would be able to price annuities based on gender. It is the EU constraining unisex annuities, so in another jurisdiction that constraint would not apply.”

Qrops provider Montfort International says it will explore whether it will be able to offer UK residents access to gender-specific annuity rates.

Chief executive Geraint Davies says: “We will be exploring the option of using another jurisdiction to give people access to gender pricing, although we are not sure yet if it is feasible. There could be an opportunity for non-EU insurers, although there would be issues on delivery of advice.”

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  1. I would be willing to bet that any annuity that was offered by a non-EU QROPS, even taking into account the fact that they could use sex as a factor in determining rates would be uncompetitive in the UK market. UK providers that have billions and billions in annuities and therefore have the cross-subsidy you need to make them work properly don’t make much of a margin of their annuity book. How on earth would a new entrant be able to do so.

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