UK - The government will not be supporting a private member's Bill on civil partnerships launched by Lord Lester.
The Bill – which intends to extend legal rights to unmarried couples – would have a significant impact on pension fund costs, particularly on the many public sector schemes that currently do not offer benefits to unmarried partners.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the growing debate within society about civil partnership registration and the associated rights and responsibilities that goes with this. However, at this early stage of the analysis of these issues we cannot give any commitment to this Bill.”
NAPF figures show that over 48% of public sector schemes do not provide a pension for common law partners under any circumstances compared to only 12% of private sector schemes.
In addition, private sector schemes are much more likely to pay lump sum benefits to common law partners (including those in same sex relationships) with 81% providing this benefit compared to only 59% in the public sector.
Last month the government launched a consultation document – Towards Equality and Diversity – that aims to introduce proposals to address issues of equality in the workplace.
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