Pension scheme recognises same-sex marriages

Limited application to retired teachers.

The Department of Public Expenditure & Reform has issued Circular 18/2020 which deals with “Recognition of same sex marriages/civil partnerships under Public Service ‘Original’ Spouses’ and Children’s Contributory Pension Schemes”. The Circular is relevant to retired public servants as outlined below; current pension schemes fully provide for such marriages.

The circular provides for access to pension benefit in respect of same-sex couples where the scheme member was unable to enter a marriage or civil partnership prior to reaching a certain age or date of retirement.

The Circular is relevant only to the category of individuals named in 2018 legislation, who are either former members of ‘original’ public service spouses’ and children’s (S&C) schemes, or former pensionable public servants who elected not to join an original S&C scheme when the membership option was made available to them. It does not apply to members and former members of the ‘revised’ S&C schemes nor the Single Public Service Pension Scheme, as both provide for such pension cover.