I’m in a same-sex marriage. Do I have the same right to my partner’s benefits package as a heterosexual married partner would have?

Not entirely. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (MSSCA 13) extended marriage to same-sex couples, and it provides for equality between married same-sex couples and married male and female couples.

However, there is one exception. It is not sexual orientation discrimination to deny survivorship benefits under an occupational pension scheme to your married partner (or to your partner in a civil partnership) where these benefits accrued before 5 December 2005. This is the date the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 became law (Paragraph 18 of Schedule 9 to the Equality Act 2010). This was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in the case of Innospec Limited v Walker [2015] EWCA Civ 1000 CA.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.