Pensions Discrimination Suffered by Lesbians and Gay Men

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2003 National Lesbian & Gay Conference
1 August 2003
Carried as Amended

Conference notes the Government’s disgraceful and hypocritical failure to ensure that the 2003 Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations will redress the pensions discrimination suffered by lesbians and gay men in public sector pay schemes. The Government has argued that this is because of the pension schemes cannot ‘afford’ to pay lesbians and gay men equal benefits.

Conference further notes that the Local Government Employers commissioned actuarial advice which stated that extending benefits would be cost-neutral because of the unplanned savings in the schemes from the drop in numbers of people getting married.

Conference condemns the failure of the Government to seriously consider the independent financial analysis.

Conference therefore instructs the National Lesbian and Gay Committee to keep the issue of pensions inequality at the top of its Agenda for tackling discrimination.

Conference therefore welcomes the resolution of the 135th Trades Union Congress (September 2003) which identified an end to public sector scheme rules that discriminate between married and unmarried couples as a key element of a sustained TUC campaign on pensions including consideration of a national day of action uniting public and private sector unions, addressing adequate state pension provision and the pension interests of affiliates and their members.

Conference further instructs the National Lesbian and Gay Committee to re-raise this issue with the TUC LGB&T Committee as a matter of urgency and to seek to ensure that:

1.Discrimination against lesbian and gay pensioners remains integral to TUC campaigning on pensions, and,

2.There is a distinct and visible lesbian and gay involvement in the proposed day of action.