Practical solidarity for a world that puts people first

End discrimination in survivors' pensions

For pensioner couples, the death of a partner can lead to financial worry as well as grief for the one left behind.

For this reason, many defined benefit pension schemes continue to pay a proportion of the pension to the survivor. But thanks to a little known loophole, widowers, civil partners and same sex spouses could end up with a much lower pension than widows

This is because their schemes only count their entitlement from when relevant equality legislation came into force, rather than their partner's full length of service. Or, if they are in the public sector, only service from 1988 onwards counts.

Pension schemes can easily afford to fix this and it would make life much fairer for widowers, civil partners and same-sex spouses. The government are looking into the cost of the changes, but haven't promised they'll do anything.

Can you help us to put pressure on the politicians who will be deciding on this issue for the government? We're gathering a petition to back up our evidence submission to pensions minister Steve Webb and Treasury minister Danny Alexander, as well as to shadow pensions minister Rachel Reeves.

If you have a personal story about this or a particular concern, please leave a message too and we'll include it in the petition.

To: Steve Webb, Danny Alexander, Rachel Reeves,

I want to see survivors' pensions equalised now. It's unfair that some widowers, surviving civil partners and same-sex spouses receive much less than widows, just because of their gender or sexual orientation.

NB: If you are worried this may apply to you or someone you know, and you would like more information, you can find a fuller briefing online at the TUC website.