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PENSIONS: Making a distinction

18 April 2017  

Rayner Grice highlights the impact of a Supreme Court decision on pension rights and the implications for cohabiting couples

The Supreme Court ruling in In the matter of an application by Denise Brewster for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2017] concerned an appellant who had lived with her partner for ten years when they became engaged on Christmas Eve 2009. Sadly the appellant’s partner died two days after their engagement. At the time of his death the deceased was employed by Translink, a public transport operator for whom he had worked for approximately 15 years. Throughout that time he had been a member of, and had paid into, the local government pension scheme. The appellant believed that her late partner had completed a form in which he nominated her to be eligible for a survivor’s pension in the event of his death. However, the Northern Ireland local government officers’ superannuation committee (the superannuation committee), who administered the scheme, said it had not received any form. They therefore refused to pay her a survivor’s pension.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Brewster v Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee [2013] NICA 54

    In the matter of an application by Denise Brewster for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2017] UKSC 8