The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a husband in a same-sex marriage should be given the same pension rights as a wife.
The landmark ruling follows a legal battle by John Walker and means that upon his death, his husband will receive a spouse’s pension of about £45,000 a year, rather than £1,000 a year, if they remain married.
A Government spokesman said it would review the implications of the ruling, the BBC reports, while human rights group Liberty said “thousands” could benefit.
Walker said it was “to our Government’s great shame that it has taken so many years, huge amounts of taxpayers’ money and the UK’s highest court to drag them into the 21st Century”.
Walker worked for for chemicals group Innospec from 1980 to 2003 and made the same contributions to the pension scheme as his heterosexual colleagues. Having entered a civil partnership in 2006, which was later converted into a marriage, Innospec said it would refuse to pay a full spousal pension because Walker’s tenure began prior to the date civil partnerships became legal in the UK, which Court of Appeal judges backed in 2015.