UK - Trustees will get new powers to change scheme rules without employer consent when a government clampdown on discrimination of disabled workers takes effect.
Lawyers claim the regulations – drawn up by the department for work and pensions – will raise the profile of trustees.
The regulations require trustees to revise scheme rules and ensure there are no direct discrimination clauses of disabled workers.
Currently, direct discrimination is possible if it can be shown that the cost of providing a benefit outweighs the reason for giving it. But from October this will no longer be the case.
Sacker & Partners partner Faith Dickson said trustees would have a “positive obligation” to look through scheme rules and examine current practices to ensure that there was no scope for the discrimination of disabled workers.
She said: “Disability discrimination has been a potential big issue in pensions, but nothing that has blown up so far.
“It’s mainly been an issue for employers. So trustees won’t be particularly aware of it.”
Dickson added that the new regulations would raise the profile of trustees significantly and grant them the power to change rules without employer consent.
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