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Cohabiting Couples Losing out Based on Bereavement Benefits

A new study has revealed that unmarried couples living together are being ignored by the National Insurance system despite the fact that more than six million people cohabit.

The news comes after Royal London analysed how much would have been paid in benefits to people whose partners had died if they had been treated in the same way as people who were married.

As part of the calculations from the pensions, company analysed the National Insurance benefits system as well as Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures for death rates and cohabitation rates.Both of the systems do not take cohabiting couples into account.

Alarmingly, the report found that cohabiting couples collectively lose £15 million a year in bereavement payments, £11 million a year in bereavement allowance and £56 million a year in widowed parent's allowance, adding up to a total estimated annual loss of £82 million.

A spokesman from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: "We are modernising bereavement benefits, introducing a simpler and fairer scheme that will better assist people in what can be an extremely difficult time.

"Proving cohabitation following a bereavement would be extremely complicated, open to interpretation and can lead to additional burdens to claimants. But another financial support including funeral payments is available to cohabitants."

Cohabitation Agreements

If you wish to ensure that your assets are protected and that your loved one can benefit even if you are not married, it is worth looking into establishing a cohabitation agreement. To find out more about such an agreement or for any other questions regarding family law, contact our team of experts today using our online contact form.

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