Govt to address surviving male spouse public pension inequality

The government has announced plans for a consultation on regulatory amendments to ensure that a surviving opposite-sex spouse or civil partner of a female member is treated in the same way as a surviving same-sex spouse or civil partner of a female member in public sector pension schemes.

In answer to a written question, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, stated that although the government had previously said it would not be making further retrospective changes to equalise survivor benefits following the Review of Survivor Benefits, its position has “since changed”.

It changed its stance on the issue following a claim brought against the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Labour MP for Harrow West, Gareth Thomas, asked the government what further discussions and consultation took place as part of the Review of Survivor Benefits in public sector schemes following the Walker v Innospec court case, and if it would make a statement

In response, Glen said: “The Department for Education will consult on regulatory amendments that give effect to a declaration agreed between the parties and made by consent by the Employment Tribunal to ensure that the surviving opposite-sex spouse or civil partner of a female member is treated in the same way as a surviving same-sex spouse or civil partner of a female member.”

Glen also confirmed that the government believed that the difference in treatment will also need to be remedies in other public service pension schemes.

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