Unmarried woman wins pension fight

Denise Brewster and Lenny McMullan lived together for ten years. He died days after they got engaged

Millions of cohabitees across Britain will benefit from a landmark ruling yesterday that a woman is entitled to receive her late partner’s occupational pension.

Denise Brewster, 42, a lifeguard from Coleraine, Northern Ireland, challenged a decision that she was not automatically entitled to a “survivor’s pension” as she would have been if the couple had been married.

Five judges upheld her claim yesterday and ruled unanimously in the Supreme Court that she is entitled to receive payments under the pension scheme.

Her victory could help an estimated seven million unmarried people in similar schemes for public sector workers such as nurses, teachers or police.

To bring her case Ms Brewster resorted to crowd-funding because legal aid is not available for such a challenge.