Widowers’ Pensions

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2021 Virtual Retired Members Conference
11 June 2021

Conference notes that –

1)Public service pension schemes pay pensions to widows of male scheme members in respect of contributions since 1972;

2)As a result of a Supreme Court decision in 2017, scheme members’ surviving same – sex spouses and civil partners, irrespective of gender, are now treated the same as widows; but

3)Widowers of female scheme members continue to be paid pensions only in respect of contributions from 1988.

Conference understands there has been a recent court decision affecting the unequal treatment of widowers in public service pension schemes but is concerned that schemes appear to be slow to amend their regulations and members have not been alerted to any new entitlements.

Conference instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee, collaborating with the National Executive Council and Service Group Executives as need be to:

(a) Seek to secure the equal treatment of widowers by public service pension schemes as soon as possible; and,

(b) Seek to ensure appropriate advice is issued to UNISON members on their entitlement and how to claim it.