A woman who was left without survivor's benefits from her late partner's pension has won her lengthy legal battle in the Supreme Court today. 

Both Denise Brewster and her partner had been paying in to the local government pension scheme in Northern Ireland. Unmarried members were required to complete a nomination form in order for their partners to benefit after their deaths. There was no such requirement for married couples, who received the benefits automatically. The Supreme Court ruled that this discriminated on the basis of marital status. 

The ruling will probably lead to other public sector pension schemes changing their rules for cohabiting couples, as long as they can show that they have been together for at least two years and are financially interdependent. Most private sector pension schemes already operate in this way.