Same-sex spouse loses equal pension bid

legal-dreamstime-201_430The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling against a retired employee in his bid to see his civil partner, now husband, receive the same pension pay-out in the event of his death as a spouse of the opposite sex.

In the case of Walker vs Innospec and others, in which the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions was an interested party, John Walker is a member of Innospec’s pension scheme having worked at the organisation from 1980 until his retirement in 2003. He receives a pension of £85,000 a year.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect in December 2005, and Walker entered into a civil partnership in 2006. He has since married.

Walker argued that if he were to die before his husband, his pension scheme would pay out a far lesser sum than it would do if he were married to a woman, and that this contravened EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Walker’s appeal failed on the basis that the claim related to a period before civil partnerships were recognised and the law could not be applied retroactively.