Later life

The law extends State Pension rights to civil partners.

Civil partners who do not have enough National Insurance contributions in their own right, may qualify for a basic State Pension when their partners who were born after 6 April 1950 reach state pension age.

If your civil partner dies, you may be able to qualify for a State Pension based on your deceased partner’s contribution record, or you may be entitled to some Graduated or Additional Pension.

Private pension schemes are not under any legal obligation to extend survivor benefits to unmarried/unregistered partners.

Widow’s benefit - Lesbian or bisexual women who have previously been married and are being paid a widow’s pension, lose this if they enter into a civil partnership.

Contact your respective pension schemes to ensure that your wishes are made explicit, or contact the Pension Service for more information:  www.dwp.gov.uk

Benefit Enquiry Line:  0800 88 22 00
(free call from landlines)

Age UK Advice: 0800 169 65 65
www.ageuk.org.uk

Tax

Civil partners born before 5 April 1935 can claim married couple’s tax allowance and tax benefits that allow you to transfer savings to a partner who pays a lower rate of tax .

They can also inherit money and property from their partner without paying inheritance tax.

This rule does not apply to partners who have not registered their partnership. These partners should consider taking out appropriate life insurance and seek independent financial advice.

To find out more go to: www.hmrc.gov.uk and search for married couple’s allowance.

Inheritance & wills

It is essential to make a will, especially if you think that family members might contest your wishes. Civil partners have the same inheritance rights as married couples.

If a couple entering into a civil partnership already have wills, those become null and void under civil partnership legislation, and they will need to make new ones.

For legal advice, contact the Law Society:
www.lawsociety.org.uk

The LGF operates a legal advice surgery every second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 6pm until 8pm from the LGF’s Community Resource Centre in Manchester’s gay village. No appointment is necessary.

August 2011