Pension rights of spouses and civil partners on member’s death
Pension rights of spouses and civil partners on member’s death

The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pension rights of spouses and civil partners on member’s death
  • What survivor benefits must be provided to spouses and civil partners?
  • Opposite-sex marriage
  • Same-sex marriage and same-sex civil partnership
  • Opposite-sex civil partnership
  • The legal framework
  • UK equality regime derived from European law
  • The Equality Act 2010 and its non-discrimination rule
  • Other aspects of the UK’s equality regime applicable to survivor benefits
  • Effective date of the non-discrimination rule as it applies in respect of same-sex spouses and civil partners
  • More...

FORTHCOMING DEVELOPMENT: On 20 July 2020, a written ministerial statement was made announcing that changes will be made to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and other public sector pension schemes to prevent direct sexual orientation in circumstances where the husband or male civil partner of a female scheme member is entitled to lower survivor benefits than a comparable same-sex survivor.
Following the case Walker v Innospec, the rules of public service schemes were amended to ensure surviving male same-sex and female same-sex spouses and civil partners of public service pension scheme members generally receive the same benefits as those received by widows of opposite sex marriages. The exception to this is in specific schemes where, in the past, improvements in female members’ survivor benefits have involved female members making employee contributions or increasing them.
A case brought in the Employment Tribunal against the Secretary of State for Education in early 2020, Goodwin v Secretary of State for Education highlighted that these changes may lead to direct sexual orientation discrimination within the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, where male survivors of female scheme members remain entitled to a lower survivor benefit than a comparable same-sex survivor.
The government has concluded that changes are required to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme to address the discrimination. The government believes that this difference in treatment will also need to be
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