NEU has been petitioning to secure full equality on survivor rights within the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. The union for teachers brought a claim against the Government, claiming discrimination.
The Court Case
There were significant negotiations surrounding survivor benefits, talks which resulted in an agreement. The Government decided to not defend the claim, accepting that all surviving widowers, widows, and civil patterns should receive survivor pensions. The contention resolved was how this benefit was calculated and how it should be valued based on all service from April 1972 undertaken by the spouse.
Why was this an issue?
There was a Supreme Court decision in the Walker case that required same-sex married couples and civil partners must have the same right to survivor pensions. While the Government chose to give same-sex spouses and civil partners this right, there were some glaring exceptions. The male widowers of female teachers were treated differently, as the Government tried to maintain an existing provision that only covered service from April 1988. The union considered this to be discrimination.
What does this mean for you?
While the principle has been agreed, the practicalities are still being explored. There are discussions taking place between the union and the Government to consider whether payments will be backdated to at least 2005.
If you are convinced that you should be in receipt of additional monies, you should approach an independent financial advisor. Indeed, any concerns over discrimination issues that have been raised recently should be followed up and explored with a financial expert.
The content in this article was correct on 17th December 2020. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on your Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.