Same sex couples will gain pension benefits in contracted-out schemes, while civil partners will have the right to pass on survivor pensions as married people do, under new changes announced by the Government.
Amendments at Report Stage have been announced by Jacqui Smith, Minister of State at the DTI during Committee stage of the Bill.
First introduced to the House of Lords in March, tThe Civil Partnership Bill will be modified to enable contracted-out pension schemes to provide survivor pensions for civil partners, from rights built up dating back from 1988 - the year these benefits were extended to widows.
Alan Johnson, Secretary of State says:
“The Civil Partnership Bill is all about equality so I am delighted that with these changes civil partners will be able to pass on survivor pensions as married people do.”
Johnson adds pensions are often the most valuable asset a person has, so the ability to pass it on is crucial.
Unison general secretary, Dave Prentis welcomes the motion following personal intervention, stressing the Civil Partnership Bill was flawed because it didn’t deal fairly with pensions.
Prentis says: “This is a milestone in ending discrimination against lesbian and gay couples and I am proud that Unison has played a significant role in bringing this about. We have always argued the case for decent pension provision and are pleased that the Chancellor, Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo and Pensions Minister Alan Johnson have acted to remedy an inequality”.
The Bill was approved by MPs earlier this month at its second reading, by 426 votes to 49. (db.riskwaters.com/public/showPage.html?page=194390)IFAonline
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