News updates

14 July 2017

Hot topic

Same-sex pension rights victory

A same-sex couple has won entitlement to full survivor’s pension rights.

A ruling by the Supreme Court in London has potentially paved the way for same-sex couples to be provided with higher death benefit rights than those set out in current UK law.

As with civil partners, pension schemes must currently provide the same survivor benefits to same-sex spouses as they would to opposite sexes, for service from 5 December 2005. This is the date when civil partnerships became legal in the UK.

Most sections of the RPS already take all service into account when calculating benefits for same-sex spouses – not just service from December 2005.

In the remaining sections, survivor benefits for same-sex couples take account of service from 5 December 2005. You will have been notified by your employer if you are in one of these sections.

The government has indicated that it will review the implications of the Supreme Court ruling on UK pension laws. We expect the Trustee will then consider if any changes are required to the few sections where survivor benefits for same-sex couples only take account of service from 5 December 2005,

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