Pensions review amendment tabled for equal marriage bill Third Reading

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Just five amendments are currently to be moved at the Third Reading of the equal marriage bill for England and Wales, which commit the Government to a review of pension survivor rights for same-sex couples.

The Government amendments would commit the Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions to a review of occupational pension schemes, to take into account survivor benefits to ensure the spouses of same-sex couples are entitled to receive their spouse’s pension in the event of their death.

The amendment is supported by Lord Alli, Lord Lester of Herne Hill and Baroness Royall of Blaisdon.

On Monday, the House of Lords will start at around 15:30, and the vote is expected that evening.

If passed in its Third Reading, the bill will be different to that which passed in the House of Commons, so will return there to for approval on Thursday.

If the House of Commons makes changes, the bill returns to the House of Lords, and can go back and forth until both are agreed. This process is known as parliamentary ping pong, and is scheduled for 16 and 17 July, when Parliament goes into recess. If the process is not agreed by then, the bill cannot be debated again until late into 2013.

Once eventually passed in both Houses, the bill will be given Royal Assent, before coming law. PinkNews has been told that the Government will do everything it can to ensure that this will happen before the summer recess.

On Wednesday, after a long day of debate on a number of amendments and issues, the House of Lords was adjourned, as the bill remained intact, despite several attempts to wreck it, therefore passing its report stage. 

An amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill to equalise pension benefits, tabled by Lord Alli, was withdrawn at Report Stage.

A pro-equal marriage rally is still set to take place from 11am on Monday, where campaigners will be joined by the London Gay Men’s Chorus, and the London Big Gay Band for entertainment.

Out4Marriage is encouragng people to lobby peers to support the reform via the Lobby A Lord website.

Here is gay Conservative MP Mike Freer’s article for PinkNews about the inequality in private pensions for same-sex couples.

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, also wrote for PinkNews about the inequality for pensions for gay couples.