UK Supreme Court awards equal pension rights to same-sex spouse

The British Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a gay retiree's husband is entitled to the same pension benefits a wife would enjoy regardless of when payment into the program began.

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John Walker filed the suit against his employer, Innospec Ltd, when they refused to pay his pension in the event of his death to his husband because his service predated December 5, 2005, the date the UK started legally recognising civil partnerships.

While the court acknowledged that the “general rule, applicable in most modern legal systems, is that legislative changes apply prospectively” in order to provide legal certainty, it looked to the Court of Justice of the European Union‘s (CJEU) “future effects” principle.

Judgment, PDF