Do employers have to provide survivors' pension benefits to same-sex partners?
If the pension scheme provides survivors' pension benefits to unmarried partners of the opposite sex, it must also provide survivors' pension benefits to unmarried same-sex partners, whether or not they are registered civil partners. Registered civil partners must be treated in the same way as spouses in relation to benefits accrued from 5 December 2005. Survivors' pension benefits can be limited to married partners and registered civil partners only. Employers with non-contracted-out schemes do not have to equalise benefits that relate to service prior to 5 December 2005 where these benefits were limited to married people before that date. Changes made to the rules relating to contracted-out schemes, which came into effect at the same time as the Civil Partnership Act 2004, mean, however, that contracted-out schemes must equalise benefits based on contracted-out rights accrued from 6 April 1988.