Planned changes to the Teachers' Pension Scheme are to set to give the same rights to surviving members of civil partnerships and same-sex marriages as apply for other married couples.
The Department for Education is consulting on making the changes following a Supreme Court ruling in 2017.
It is also looking to remove the requirement for the completion of a nomination form for unmarried partner benefits.
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Schools standards minister Nick Gibb said: “These very important changes will make the Teachers’ Pension Scheme fairer for teachers and their spouses in same-sex marriages and civil partnerships, and will simplify the process for those in unmarried relationships.
Equal pension rights
“Over the next six weeks, we will seek the views of a variety of stakeholders to ensure these changes properly meet our legal responsibilities, and I would urge all those involved to share their views.”
The DfE is also proposing to make “other small technical changes and clarifications to ensure that the scheme operates as intended”
The consultation will run for six weeks until 25 June.
It has been launched by the department in response to a 2017 Supreme Court ruling in favour of John Walker, who had been involved in a five-year legal battle to secure equal pension benefits for his husband.
The TPS is one of eight schemes guaranteed by the government.
The DfE said that from September this year the scheme will offer a teacher earning £30,000 around £7,000 in employer contributions every year.
Last month the department said it would provide extra money to ensure that state schools do not lose out in the first year that they have to pay higher contributions to teachers’ pensions.
However, a DfE document still leaves schools in the dark about whether they will have to fund the increase from their own budgets in the years that follow.
The government announced last September that schools would see the amount that they had to pay into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme rise from 16.48 per cent now to 23.6 per cent in September 2019.