Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2013 position: 25

Employment Appeal Tribunal decision confirms no extension of civil partners’ survivor benefits

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed that the restriction of a surviving civil partner’s pension to the member’s post-4 December 2005 pensionable service (in relation to non-contracted-out rights) is compatible with EU law.

Mr Walker had been a member of his company’s occupational pension scheme for more than 20 years. He argued that his civil partner should be entitled to the full value of a spouse’s death-in-service pension, and not just the benefits arising from the date the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force (5 December 2005).

Mr Walker had been a member of the Innospec company pension scheme since joining the business in 1980. He entered into a civil partnership with his long-standing partner on 23 January 2006. He asked for confirmation of what his civil partner would be entitled to in the event of his death while he was a member of the pension scheme…

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