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09 April 2019

Changes to survivor benefits for same sex spouses and civil partners

Survivor benefits payable to a same sex spouse or a civil partner are now equal those paid to the widow of a male member.

This comes as a result of a Supreme Court judgement (Walker v Innopsec) which found that Mr Walker’s male spouse was entitled to the same benefits that would’ve been paid if Mr Walker had left a widow in an opposite sex marriage.

The change has been backdated to the date when civil partnerships and same sex marriages were introduced which is 5 December 2005 for civil partnerships and 13 March 2014 for same sex marriages.

This means that where a member of the LGPS has died since the dates above, leaving a surviving civil partner or a same sex spouse, the survivor’s pension in payment will need to be reviewed and any additional amounts paid, where applicable.

We’re currently reviewing the impact of this and will be contacting affected civil partners and same-sex spouses that we can identify in due course.