Partners (de facto cohabitees) are not equal under pension rights

For the time being, spouses of an official who dies within one year from the date of the marriage are not entitled to any pension rights.

Through his opinion delivered on the 29th of July 2019 in the case C-460/18 P, Advocate General Priit Pikamäe considers the duration of one year to which the article 17 of the Annex VIII to the Staff Regulations conditions the payment of a survivor’s pension to a widow of an official must be declared as unenforceable to the case submitted to the Court.

After having analyzed the reasoning of the General Court in the appealed decision and considered the General Court has failed to duly motivate its decision, Advocate General Priit Pikamäe reverted on the conditions required through the article 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

According to him, concerns may be raised with regard to the control of proportionality : not only is the condition of the appropriate character of the measure not met, but the measure chosen by the legislator in order to preserve the financial balance of the EU pension scheme and avoid fraudulent marriages is quite radical since it creates, in case of death within one year after the marriage, an irrebuttable presumption of fraud.

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