It has gone relatively unnoticed in the media, but the government has brought in legislation (effective 2 December) enabling civil partnerships to be formed by opposite-sex couples in England and Wales, with the first ceremonies being possible from 31 December 2019.
Opposite-sex civil partners will be treated in much the same way as same-sex civil partners. It remains to be seen whether there are many unmarried members of defined benefit pension schemes who are in an opposite-sex relationship and will wish now to formalise their relationship as civil partners. The likely impact this will have on pension scheme liabilities is therefore unclear at present, and of course there will only be an additional benefit cost if the scheme does not already provide full survivors’ benefits for unmarried partners. Continue Reading