The following Pensions guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
THIS PRACTICE NOTE APPLIES TO OCCUPATIONAL PENSION SCHEMES
This Practice Note explores the pension rights of opposite-sex and same-sex spouses and civil partners (including the impact of the case Walker v Innospec) on a member’s death and the extension of civil partnership legislation to opposite-sex couples.
For a discussion of the pension rights of partners who are neither married nor in a civil relationship (ie cohabitants), see Practice Note: Pension rights of unmarried cohabitants on members’ death.
Private occupational pension schemes and public service pension schemes must provide the survivor benefits set out below. The remainder of this Practice Note explores these legal requirements further.
For an overview of the similarities and differences between marriage and civil partnership in other areas, including in relation to the State pension, see the table published by the Government Equalities Office.
Generally in private sector occupational pension schemes, survivor benefits must be equal for widows and widowers in respect of accruals from 17 May 1990. This is the result of the case Barber v Guardian Royal Exchange (Barber). For more information, see: The legal framework, below.
In public service pension schemes, a female survivor in an opposite-sex marriage receives a ‘widow’s pension’ (calculated based on accruals from April 1978) while a male survivor receives a
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