Cohabiting partners’ pensions

Pensions for eligible cohabiting partners were introduced from 1 April 2009 but these only apply to deferred members who were active contributing members to the Scheme from 1 April 2009.

A member must have an eligible cohabiting partner for this pension to be payable.

The criteria for cohabiting partners to be eligible for a survivor’s pension are set out below.

The first criterion must apply at the time of death: 

  • You must be free to marry your cohabiting partner. So, if you are still married or in a civil partnership with someone else, your partner would not be eligible for a survivor’s pension under the regulations.

and the following three criteria must apply for a period of at least two years immediately prior to your death:

  • you must have lived together as if married or in a civil partnership, and
  • neither you nor your cohabiting partner have been living with someone else as if you were married or civil partners, and
  • your partner must be able to prove that he or she was financially dependent on you or that you were financially interdependent on each other. Financially interdependent means that you rely on your joint income to support your standard of living – even if you do not contribute equally.

The calculation of an eligible cohabiting partner’s pension will depend on the deceased’s date of leaving the Scheme.  An eligible cohabiting partner’s pension could be made up of two parts of membership, the total pension payable is the sum of pension relating to each part.

Death of a deferred member with an eligible cohabiting partner (left the Scheme after 31 March 2015)

Eligible Cohabiting Partner’s pension = deceased’s accrued pension (including pensions increases) for membership in the Scheme after 31 March 2015 recalculated as if it had built up at a rate of 1/160th

Plus

any 2009 Scheme survivor pension relating to membership prior to 1 April 2015.

Death of a deferred member with an eligible cohabiting partner (leaver between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2015)

Eligible Cohabiting Partner’s pension = 1/160 x deceased’s final pay x deceased’s total post 5 April 1988 membership only (plus any relevant additional membership) up to 31 March 2015*.

*plus pension increases