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Cohabiting Partners

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As long as you have contributed to the LGPS at some point since 1st April 2008 you can nominate a cohabiting partner, of either the opposite or same sex, with whom you have not entered into marriage or formed a civil partnership but you must both sign a joint declaration

You should NOT complete a nomination if:

1) You are married as your husband or wife automatically qualifies for a survivor's pension in the event of your death; or

2) You have formerly registered your partnership under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 as your civil (same sex) partner automatically qualifies for a survivor's pension in the event of your death.

Who can I nominate?

You can only nominate a cohabiting partner as beneficiary of any survivor's pension that may become payable in the event of your death. You cannot nominate anyone else. For a cohabiting partnership to be valid both you and your partner must sign a joint declaration confirming that you are cohabiting partners and that:

i) Your cohabitation had been continuous for at least 2 years at the date that the declaration is signed;
ii) Both you and your nominated cohabiting partner are, and have been, free to marry each other or enter into a civil partnership with each other;
iii) You and your nominated cohabiting partner have been living together as if you were husband and wife or civil partners; and
iv) Neither you or your nominated cohabiting partner have been living with someone else as if husband or wife or civil partners; and
v) Either your nominated cohabiting partner is financially dependent upon you or you are financially inter-dependent upon each other.

Can you clarify the term "free to marry or enter into a civil partnership?"

Basically anyone who is already married or who has already entered intro a civil partnership, is not free to marry or enter into a civil partnership with their cohabiting partner. There are also restrictions placed upon a person marrying or entering into a civil partnership with certain close relatives e.g. parent, brother or sister, grandparent, uncle or auntie, niece or nephew.

If either you or your partner are currently married to, or have entered into a civil partnership with, another person and that marriage or civil partnership has not been dissolved, even though you are living in an "unmarried" partnership, a nomination cannot be made. This will be the case until such time as the marriage or civil partnership is dissolved and until that time, your legal husband, wife or civil partner will be entitled to survivor's benefits upon your death.

If your marriage or civil partnership has been dissolved it will still be 2 years from the date of dissolution before you can make a nomination as you have to have been living together for 2 years before a nomination is valid i.e. you both need to have been free to marry or enter into a civil partnership with each other for a period of 2 years.

What do you mean by financially dependent of interdependent?

Under HM Revenue & Customs rules an occupational pension scheme can only pay a pension to a person who is financially dependent upon you or where you are both financially interdependent on each other. We will regard your partner as dependent if you have the highest income. We will regard you as being interdependent where you rely upon your joint finances to support your standard of living.

If I make a nomination what will happen in the event of my death?

If you die before you reach retirement age your partner will become entitled to a long-term nominated cohabiting partner's pension.

A long-term nominated cohabiting partner's pension is equal to 1/160th of your final pay times your membership built up since 6th April 1988 enhanced to the age of 65 as if you had retired due to permanent ill-health and not died in service.

If you die after retirement a long-term nominated cohabiting partner's pension will become payable equal to 1/160th of your final pay (the pay used to calculate your pension) times your membership built up since 6th April 1988 plus inflationary increases applied between your date of retirement and your date of death.

Your nominated cohabiting partner's long-term pension is fully inflation proofed and payable for life.

At the time of your death it will be necessary to establish that the rules regarding the payment of a nominated cohabiting partner's pension are met. It is never easy to ask for information when a person dies but we have to do this to determine that an entitlement to survivor's benefits still exists. You and your partner should be aware that this will happen.

It will still be necessary for your partner to provide evidence that you had been cohabiting for 2 years prior to your death and that you met all the conditions detailed in the section "Who can I nominate?".

We may ask for confirmation that you have lived in a shared household with shared household spending. Your partner may be required to demonstrate that you had a bank account or mortgage in joint names. It may be that you and your partner have made wills, or have taken out life assurance, naming each other as beneficiary. This is the sort of evidence that we may seek. Your partner would have a right of appeal it we decided not to pay a pension and your partner believes that an entitlement exists.

Why should I make a nomination?

If you do not make a nomination your partner will not receive a survivor's pension in the event of your death even if all of the conditions detailed previously are satisfied.

Can I change my nomination at any time?

Yes you can. You can even cancel your nomination if you so wish. You need to consider amending or revoking your nomination if your circumstances change e.g. you no longer live with your nominated partner.

However, if you do change your nomination you will be required to confirm again that you have been cohabiting with a different partner for at least 2 years and that you both satisfy all of the conditions previously mentioned.

What do I do next?

If you wish to nominate your partner for a survivor's pension, please follow the link to our factsheet 'Nominating a Cohabiting Partner for a Survivor's Pension'. If you would prefer to have a copy of this factsheet forwarded to your home address please contact us on 0845 6027237.

Once completed and returned to the Pension Team your original form will be sent back to you with an acknowlegement of receipt within 10 working days.

Please make sure that you have completed your details accurately and that both you and your partner have signed and dated the form.

Remember without a nomination a survivor's pension cannot be paid to your cohabiting partner and should your circumstances change it is imperative that you notify us as soon as possible.

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Modified: 2012-09-12
Published: 2012-09-13 20:21
Author/Editor: Joanne Brazier/Andrew.Scott
RDCMS ID: 23124
LGSL PID:
IPSV: Occupational Pensions