The Practical Lawyer


Civil partnership – guidance

How does a civil partnership affect the parties’ rights to different pensions? 

The government has published a briefing paper on pensions in the context of civil partnerships and same-sex marriages which family practitioners will find useful.

The report summarises the legal framework under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004, and the exception under the Equality Act 2010 relating to survivors’ benefits (particularly those in ’contracted-in’ occupational pension schemes). A review of survivor benefits in occupational pension schemes was published in June 2014 to which the government has not yet responded.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court made declarations in Walker v Innospec [2017] UKSC 47 that paragraph 18 Schedule 9 of the 2010 Act is incompatible with EU law and must be disapplied, and the civil partner in question was entitled to the other’s pension on his death. Consequently, the government wrote to public service pension representatives saying that schemes should consult on various changes to entitlements in the context of same sex-partners (but not widowers). Source:


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