EAT confirms that restricting occupational pension scheme benefits for civil partners is not contrary to European legislation

In the February 2013 edition of Pensions Pieces, we mentioned a successful case brought by a civil partner against his pension scheme on the basis that it was not providing benefits in respect of his civil partner on an equal footing to those provided under the scheme to a spouse in an opposite-sex marriage and that this was contrary to European equal treatment legislation and the Human Rights Act 1998. The decision has now been overturned by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), which means that, as the law stands, occupational pension schemes can, in relation to any spouses’ benefits they provide, restrict those, for non-contracted-out benefits, so that civil partners are only entitled to benefits in respect of post-5 December 2005 pensionable service…

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