It is hard to believe that only now has a ruling be made to allow the same rights for same sex marriages in regards to pensions. Previously, The Equality Act allowed employers to exclude same – sex partners from spousal benefits paid into a pension fund before December 2005 (when the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force). Of course this would cause problems for the spouse of a same sex marriage especially if there was a large amount of contribution made to the pension before this date, which could leave them in a worrying financial situation for their future.
John Walker appealed to The Supreme Court who have now ruled in his favour in this landmark legal battle to secure equal pension benefits for his husband, a decision which could end the financial penalisation of thousands of same-sex couples in civil partnerships and civil marriages.
Mr Walker argued the exemption contained within the Equality Act was discriminatory because it did not apply to opposite-sex couples.
This ruling could now change many divorce settlements in allowing contributions before 2005 to be taken into account. A victory for many.
A gay former cavalry officer has won a legal battle to provide his husband with equal pension rights in a landmark discrimination case at the supreme court.
The unanimous judgment, which could benefit thousands of couples, will ensure that should John Walker die first, his partner will have access to an income of about £45,000 a year for life. It may also impose unexpected liabilities on pension funds.
Lawyers for the human rights organisation Liberty, which represented Walker, argued that a same-sex husband should enjoy the same pension rights as a widow. Under current law, Walkers husband would receive only about £1,000 a year.
Walker, 65, has been with his husband, a former computer executive who is 52, since 1993. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force in December 2005.