UK - Same-sex couples will be granted access to partners' pensions under government proposals in the draft Civil Partnership Bill.
Currently, a spouse without a marriage certificate can only claim survivor benefits if trustees are convinced – through a lengthy process – that they are a dependent partner.
But under the new proposals, trustees will be able to grant a survivor pension immediately to a same-sex partner provided the couple had registered their civil partnership.
Head of strategic development at law firm Pinsents, Robin Ellison, said trustees would now have to plan ahead on automatic survivor benefits.
He said: “It is not like it was in the old days when one would stay home and look after the children and the other would go out to work. There is a real issue for trustees over whether they should pay out if it isn’t deserved. This Bill is going to make a lot of trustees restructure their pension plans.”
The Bill will receive its first reading in June and is scheduled to be enacted by October 2005, in order to comply with EU law laid out in the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations in September 2003.
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