On 17 July 2013, The Marriage (Same-sex couples) Act 2013 received Royal Assent. For general information about the Act, please see our previous bulletin.

The Act includes a last-minute amendment requiring the government to review the differences in survivor benefits provided by occupational pension schemes for opposite sex and same-sex couples in legal relationships. This amendment was made in response to widespread criticism of the Act allowing occupational pension schemes to only provide survivors’ benefits accruing after 5 December 2005 to scheme members in same-sex marriages or civil partnerships.

The review will focus on the cost of reducing or eliminating inequality in survivor benefits and must be carried out by 1 July 2014.