- 2018 National LGBT Conference
- 23 July 2018
Conference notes that:
1)The Supreme Court decision in Walker v Innospec in July 2017, that upon John Walker’s death his husband should get the same pension as would his widow, relies upon European Union (EU) law and sets aside a provision of the United Kingdom’s Equality Act 2010 that permitted occupational pension schemes to pay benefits to surviving same-sex spouses and civil partners only in respect of contributions made since the introduction of civil partnership in 2005; and,
2. On 28 March 2018, the Treasury confirmed the position for couples in public service pension schemes:
a)The widow of a male spouse will receive benefits based on service since 1972.
b)The widow of a female spouse will receive benefits based on service since 1972
c)The widower of a male spouse will receive benefits based on service since 1972.
d)The widower of a female spouse will receive benefits based on service since 1988.
i)The court only decided John Walker’s case; we’ll only know, once it’s tested, how wide a precedent it sets;
ii)It remains to be transposed into UK Law in accordance with the EU (Withdrawal) Act; and
iii)Public service pension schemes continue to treat widowers of female spouses less favourably than other surviving partners.
Conference affirms UNISON’s aim to bring surviving same-sex spouses and civil partners’ pensions and those for widowers of female spouses (including bisexual and transgender widowers) into line with those for widows of male spouses in all respects.
Conference considers that, since the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Treasury do not wholly achieve this, UNISON should continue to campaign to do so by means of primary domestic legislation.
Conference instructs the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Committee:
A)To work with the National Executive Council, the National Retired Members’ Committee, the National Labour Link Committee and others, as appropriate, to develop a broad-based and sustained campaign to achieve equality; and
B. To encourage the Trades Union Congress (TUC) LGBT+ Committee to give the matter regular attention and to raise it, if needs be, with the Scottish TUC, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and others as appropriate.