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Uncertainty over age rules for schemes

Financial services firms are concerned that age or service-rel-ated pension schemes will effectively be wiped out under the new European anti-age discrimination rules.

The Government has published its final amendments to the draft regulations governing pensions. They allow trustees to pay different contributions into personal pensions and defined-contribution occupational schemes based on an employee’s length of service but the difference must be justified where the member getting a lesser payment has more than five years’ service.

Standard Life marketing technical director Andy Tully says the resulting uncertainty and the prospect of a legal challenge may force employers to change their schemes.

He says: “Employers may not sleep easy with this potential threat hanging over them so changing the scheme now may well prove more attractive.”

The CBI has welcomed the amendments but has called for further time to implement them.

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