Civil partnership

Does your pension scheme, recognise civil partnerships?

A civil partnership is a new form of legal relationship that will enable those same-sex couples who choose to do so to obtain legal recognition of their relationship, since they are unable to marry. With effect from 5th December 2005 same-sex couples who have registered their relationship will now be able to provide a survivors pension in the event of their death. The change affects all current contributors plus pensioners and deferred benefit members who left their employment after 5 April 1988.

Nominated cohabiting partner

I am not married or in a registered civil partnership but I do live with my partner. Will they be due to a pension when I die?

A pension will be payable to a cohabiting partner of either opposite or same sex upon your death provided you have scheme membership on or after 1 April 2008.

The following conditions must be satisfied by you and your cohabiting partner for a continuous period of at least 2 years at the date of death:

   • both you and your cohabiting partner were, and had been, free to marry each other or enter into a civil partnership with each other, and
   • you and your cohabiting partner had been living together as if you were husband and wife, or civil partners, and
   • neither you nor your cohabiting partner had been living with someone else as if you/they were husband and wife or civil partners, and
   • either your cohabiting partner was financially dependent on you or you were financially interdependent on each other.

Your partner is financially dependent on you if you have the highest income and your partner relies on you to support your standard of living. Financially interdependent means that you rely on your joint finances to support your standard of living. It doesn't mean that you need to be contributing equally.

Upon your death we will have to verify that the conditions have been satisfied, for which we will require a statutory declaration from a solicitor. There would be a right of appeal if we decide not to pay a pension and your partner believes that he/she is entitled.