Supreme Court ruling on 'survivor's pension' could affect millions of cohabitees

A Northern Ireland woman who was refused payments from her former partner's pension has won her battle to extend benefits automatically to those who are unmarried.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in her favour - a move which is likely to improve the pension rights of unmarried couples in the public sector.

She applied for a judicial review which went all the way up to the Supreme Court where a unanimous ruling said the nomination process should not apply to the scheme.

Denise Brewster lived with her partner William Leonard McMullan for around 10 years up to December 2009. In 2009, the couple got engaged, but McMullan suddenly died two days later.

She won her case in the High Court in Northern Ireland, before the decision was overturned at the Court of Appeal.

However, Ms Brewster was denied a survivor's pension by the administrators of the scheme on the ground that she and Mr McMullan had been cohabiting and were not married.

"With more than six million people living together as couples and the numbers rising every year, this is an issue that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency".

The case could have implications for all pension schemes.

Today's ruling will raise further questions about the differentiation in the new rules between married and unmarried couples.

Violent Protests Force Cancellation Of Breitbart Editor's Speech
UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said the university has not heard from student groups about inviting Yiannopoulos back to campus. "If U.C.

Co-habiting partners instead had to complete a form nominating their partner, and while Brewster believed it had been, NILGOSC maintained it had not.

"We need pension scheme rules which reflect the world we live in today, and not the world of 50 years ago".

For 15 years, McMullan had been an employee of Translink, a public transport operator in Northern Ireland, and had paid into the LGPS. "In the meantime we would encourage any surviving partner of a deceased co-habiting scheme member who did not receive their full suite of pension benefits because a nomination was not made to make contact with us".

In this case, the form has been condemned as "unlawful discrimination" by the Supreme Court because you do not have to fill it in if you are married.

Helen Mountfield QC, representing Ms Brewster, had asked the Supreme Court to declare that the opt-in nomination rule in the 2009 regulations breached Article 14 and Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Brewster's lawyers had argued that the requirement of the nomination form was disproportionate and in effect discriminatory.

"A positive decision from the Supreme Court is likely to impact on discrimination against cohabitees across a wide range of areas, not just pension rights".

The Court ruling stated: "There is no rational connection between the objective, which was to remove the difference of treatment between a longstanding cohabitant and a married or civil partner, and the imposition of the nomination requirement and therefore its discriminatory effect can not be justified".

He said: "It is also found in many defined benefit pension schemes in the private sector, of which there are around 11 million members".

Related News:

  • UP polls: Akhilesh Yadav to address six rallies in Sitapur

    UP polls: Akhilesh Yadav to address six rallies in Sitapur

    The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister further said that he will campaign for Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance. A sulking Mulayam Singh Yadav had then accepted defeat.

    Obamacare Replacement May Be Ready By 2018, Says Donald Trump

    Trump has been advocating the repealing of Obamacare and replacing it with a plan that would ensure better facilities. Republican leaders originally set the Obamacare repeal deadline on January 27th.

    White House Defends Holocaust Statement That Doesn't Mention Jews

    Jewish groups, about the omission of Jews from the statement issued Friday were "pathetic" and "disappointing". As Elie Wiesel said, 'Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims'.
  • Google's incredible image enhancer looks like something out of 'CSI'

    Google's incredible image enhancer looks like something out of 'CSI'

    If the networks know that one particular pixel could be an eye, when you zoom in you'll see the shape of an eye there. However, as the images aren't real (they're computed approximations ), they can't serve as evidence in criminal cases.
    State Senate to act on Ridesharing bill

    State Senate to act on Ridesharing bill

    Uber and Lyft could be coming to upstate NY under legislation passed by the state Senate. Uber says it already conducts background checks and that fingerprinting isn't necessary.

    Trump Shows His 'Regard' For Black History Month

    The following is from President Donald Trump's remarks at a Black History Month event with African Americans . Presumably, he knows that those other people are dead. "And we'll be honoring it more and more".
  • Army to allow completion of Dakota Access Pipeline

    Army to allow completion of Dakota Access Pipeline

    Dakota Access, the Texas based consortium behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, defended its right to build on the land by suing the Corps.
    Avid Part of Fox's Super Bowl Team

    Avid Part of Fox's Super Bowl Team

    With that in mind, here's a look at some the 2017 Super Bowl commercials that have already been released ahead of Sunday's game. The film is playing at more than a dozen Boston-area theaters, 10 of which have showings that start between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
    'Sharp metal objects' prompt recall of popular smokeless tobacco products

    'Sharp metal objects' prompt recall of popular smokeless tobacco products

    The smokeless tobacco products listed here are affected by this recall and include Copenhagen, Husky and Skoal brands. The complaints were received from Indiana, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin and OH , the release stated.
  • Afghan civilian casualties hit all-time high, says UN

    Afghan civilian casualties hit all-time high, says UN

    The report also documents an increase in attacks from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's branch in Afghanistan, known as ISKP. The conflict in Afghanistan has killed 24,841 civilians and injured 45,347 since 2009, according to the United Nations report.

    Affordable rent measures promised in housing White Paper

    A £3 billion home-building fund aims to help small firms as 60% of new dwellings are now constructed by just 10 companies. A key part of the White Paper is centralised calculations about housing needs.

    Petition to cancel Trump's visit to United Kingdom hits 1 million signatures

    May was the first foreign official to visit the White House after Trump's inauguration. However, it is unlikely the state visit invitation will be withdrawn.


Most liked

'Dripping' new trend among teens who vape, researchers say
Users can modify their e-cigarettes for dripping , or they can buy atomizers built specifically for dripping . In general, the process of vaping relies on the e-cigarette's wick (passed through a coil), and tank.

Madonna adopts two more Malawian girls
A court official in Lilongwe told AFP that the singer adopted two four-year-old twin girls from the country on Tuesday. Say what you will about Madonna she does seem to have her heart in the right place when it comes to children.

Six Nations: Eddie Jones promises more focus from England against Wales
England are unbeaten under Jones, who succeeded Stuart Lancaster after their group-stage exit from the 2015 World Cup. Players love going there and pitching themselves against the Welsh.

Uber Hires NASA Engineer for VTOL 'Flying Car' Project
In September, Uber said flying cars could be hovering over cities and transporting people from point A to B within a decade. Moore has more or less lead the charge into vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

New PS4 Pro mode should 'Boost' retail sales
Nevertheless, TechRadar says video quality is "absolutely incredible", if not quite up to the quality of high-end PCs. Sony has added 3D movie support to PlayStation VR in the latest software update for its PlayStation 4 games console.

Ryanair profit slumps on weak pound
The low-priced carrier's profit between October and December was down by eight percent year-on-year at 95 million euros. Ryanair said its costs per passenger were down 12 percent in its third quarter, half of that due to fuel.

Israeli Knesset passes West Bank outposts bill
Emboldened by the Trump administration, the Israeli government is expanding settlement construction at an alarming new rate. But coalition chairman David Bitan told the Times of Israel the vote would "definitely" take place on Monday.

Broos expects more from AFCON champions Cameroon
Egypt and Cameroon will both strive for consistency and it is going to be the key in the title-decider, which could go either way. We are now rehabilitating the players to find out who will be available for the game.

Phoenix Open: Martin Laird one off lead after birdie at 18th
Kuchar seemed satisfied with his round, saying, "Hard to keep up with yesterday's 7-under". Those missing the cut made at one-under 141 included Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson.

Pep Guardiola Comapares Gabriel Jesus To A Watermelon
I can say how happy I am with what he did - except when he was banned. "I make a lot of mistakes, but I have to make decisions". With Aguero on the sidelines, it was City's trio of dazzling young forwards who stole the show.

Khamenei aide says Iran won't yield to 'inexperienced' Trump
Trump tweeted earlier that morning "Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE" for reportedly testing a new weapon last weekend. The historic agreement offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for greater restrictions on its nuclear energy program.

GOP senators oppose DeVos as education secretary
According to The Hill , Murkowski spoke after Collins and said she too would be unable to vote for DeVos' confirmation. They also said they're concerned with DeVos' lack of knowledge about a 40-year-old law governing special education.

Texas governor says securing border shouldn't harm trade
The DHS head talked about another recent controversy too - the rocky rollout of the travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Japan Manufacturing Sector Accelerates In January - Nikkei
Manufacturers have responded with an increase in selling prices, which may in turn begin to drive consumer price inflation. The PMI rose to 50.9 points in January, up from 46.7 points in December 2016, according to data released yesterday.

Facebook Profit Surges On Ad Revenues
Profit reached $3.568 billion with revenue growth at 177% YoY, compared to $2.379 billion last quarter. Monthly active users (MAUs ) were 1.86 billion as of December 31, 2016, up 17% from December 2015.