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The survivor's pension and your employees

View profile for Phil Cookson
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The Supreme Court has given judgement in favour of an unmarried cohabitant in a dispute with a public sector employer regarding a ‘survivor’s pension’. The case dealt with the question of whether or not an employee’s unmarried partner is entitled to a survivor’s pension following the death of the employee despite the employee not having completed a nomination form in favour of the partner.

The Court’s decision extends the rights of unmarried partners but also highlights the importance of ensuring staff complete nomination forms to avoid uncertainty regarding their wishes and prevent payments to intended beneficiaries being delayed.

When completing nomination forms, employees will be able to not only state who receives their survivor’s pension but they will also be able, if they wish, to divide their pension between multiple parties, usually as a percentage. Encouraging your staff to protect their assets and their family in this way will not only give you peace of mind that you're fulfilling your duty of care to employees but will also ensure employees feel valued by the company.

For assistance regarding employment issues please get in touch with Phil Cookson, Head of the Employment team at Roythornes by emailing: