Same-sex marriage: get your scheme ready for the big day

The first same-sex marriages can take place in England and Wales on 29 March 2014. The legislation gives surviving same-sex spouses similar occupational pension rights to civil partners.

Schemes, including those closed to future accrual, need to decide what benefits they will provide to surviving partners (statutory minimum or more generous) and consider what amendments are required to achieve this. This largely affects defined-benefit schemes but other schemes may also need to consider making changes, particularly to any insured death-in-service benefits and pension sharing on divorce provisions.

If no action is taken, then a surviving same-sex spouse will be entitled to the same benefit as a surviving opposite-sex spouse, but (for non-contracted-out rights) only in relation to pensionable service since 5 December 2005…

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