Lisa Ray, Founding Partner of Later Life Ambitions and General Secretary of the Civil Service Pensioners’ Alliance, gave evidence to MPs on the Women and Equalities Committee as part of their inquiry into the rights of cohabiting partners.
Watch the full session here.
The full transcript of the session can be found here.
During the session, Lisa spoke of the uncertainty that cohabiting partners face over their entitlement to their partner’s pension, particularly because of the common law marriage myth which many believe puts them in a similar position to married couples. She detailed the extreme lengths that individuals go through to access their partner’s pension after their death, and the hoops they have to jump through to prove their entitlement to survivors’ pensions.
Lisa also outlined the Widow’s Pensions Issue which is faced by both CSPA and NARPO members. She told MPs how “absolutely appalling” it was that women were being treated as property, being forced to become financially dependent on their partner should they choose to remarry or cohabit and subsequently lose their survivor’s pension. On behalf of Later Life Ambition members, Lisa called on the MPs to inform the Government of how unacceptable this was. She also called on the Government to level up the playing field between married and unmarried partners when it came to pension rights.
With pensions being significant assets for an individual to hold, Lisa stressed the need for there to be real clarity over the rights that partners have. Speaking of NFOP members, she discussed that there were many cases where partners wouldn’t be sure if they would gain access to their partner’s pension until after they have died which leaves many unable to plan for the future.
Later Life Ambitions maintains its belief that there is a need for clarity over pensions and what people are entitled to, consistency across different schemes on what evidence is needed to be provided by cohabiting partners to access their partner’s pensions and pensions for life.