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Tuesday 26 September 2017

New pension rights for unmarried partners

By MiP

Unmarried partners of NHS staff who have died will now be able to claim survivor benefits even if they were not formally nominated by their partner, the NHS Business Service Authority (BSA), which administers the NHS pension schemes, announced in September.

The move follows the ruling by the Supreme Court in February that the previous policy, introduced in April 2008, of only paying survivor benefits to partners who had been formally nominated was unlawful. People affected by the ruling would receive backdated payments, the BSA said.

A BSA spokesman said: “The implications of this ruling have been considered independently by the public-sector pension schemes and we as the NHS pension scheme have decided to change our processes with immediate effect.”

He said the authority would be contacting NHS employers for help in identifying claims for survivor benefits that were rejected as well as people who may have been deterred from claiming under the old rules.

Although no longer a requirement, members with unmarried partners are still encouraged to nominate them, as claimants will still have to provide evidence of their relationship in order to claim survivor benefits.

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