29th June 2015 Anna Rogers comments in Pensions Expert re same-sex parity on survivor pensions

Anna comments in Pensions Expert on the potential £3bn cost of one in four defined benefit schemes not treating same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally on survivor benefits and the TUC is pressing government to close the gap.

Anna said most of the larger DB schemes she has worked with have given full survivor pensions to same-sex partners, and many also provide dependants’ pensions for cohabitees. “So there is no extra cost in giving full rights because they would have paid it anyway, unless the couple had separated,”

She added that “it is clear what this means for benefits up to 1997 – nothing for pre 1988 service and the survivor’s [guaranteed minimum pension] for service between 1988 and 1997.”

“But after April 6 1997 the test for contracting out changed and the law is unclear as to what the minimum is.”

“It’s all a big muddle. The logical answer is clear but it would be hard to equalise between a) opposite-sex married people, and b) CPs or same-sex married people, without also equalising between widows and widowers – and that may cost a lot more.”

Read the original article in Pensions Expert here.

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