Cohabitee Becomes Entitled to Pension
For some time it has been possible for a surviving Cohabitee to qualify under certain types of pension on the death of a partner. That said there always had to be a responsibility for the member of the scheme to nominate his unmarried partner. That has now changed in the new case of Re Brewster. From now on the Courts have decided that to deny a Cohabitant even if not nominated would be a breach of clear intentions and commonsense if all other criteria (such as dependency) for eligibility were made out. This brings Northern Ireland in line with other parts of the UK.
No intrinsic value was attached to the actual making of a nomination because it didn’t help to achieve the objective of extending survivor’s pensions to unmarried couples. This is of interest to those who are unmarried and in a cohabiting arrangement but whose partner did not nominate them for their possible pension benefits. Whilst every scheme is different and whilst this case involved a Local Authority pension it is of interest.