Equal pensions for surviving spouses and civil partners

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2023 National Local Government Service Group Conference
14 February 2023

Conference notes that:

1)The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) pays pensions to widows of male scheme members in respect of contributions since 1972 or, in some cases, 1978;

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

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

Conference understands that an employment tribunal case in 2020, the Goodwin case, and a subsequent ministerial statement have affected the unequal treatment of such widowers but is concerned LGPS appears slow to amend its regulations and funds slow to alert their members to any new entitlement and any action they need to take.

Conference instructs the Local Government Service Group Executive, collaborating with the National Executive Council and others as need be, to:

a)Seek to secure equal treatment of surviving spouses and civil partners in LGPS; and,

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