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Equal pension treatment

The principle of equal pension treatment is that there should be no discrimination on any of the discriminatory grounds in respect of any rule of a pension scheme. It applies in relation to rules governing such matters as: access to the scheme, contribution arrangements, entitlements to and calculation of benefits, retirement ages and benefits on death.

An allegation of a breach of the principle of equal pension treatment must be based on one of the nine discriminatory grounds. Discriminatory grounds are:

  • gender,
  • civil status,
  • family status,
  • sexual orientation,
  • religious belief,
  • age,
  • disability,
  • race, and
  • membership of the traveller community.

However, it does not constitute a breach of equal pension treatment on the ground of age to fix ages for admission to the scheme or for entitlement to benefits under the scheme, including fixing different ages for employees or groups of categories of employees, provided that this does not result in discrimination on the gender ground.

You may seek redress by referring your complaint to the Director of the Workplace Relations Commission. Further details are set out in the guide – ‘A brief guide to equal pension treatment’ available from the ‘Checklist and guides’ section.