DEFENCE – SERVICE WIDOWS' PENSIONS – 24 November 2014

Dr Julian Lewis: In welcoming the announcement about war widows, may I ask whether it is the case that a war widow who lost her widow’s pension on remarriage but who has subsequently become single again is eligible to have it reinstated and never taken away under any circumstances thereafter?

[The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Anna Soubry): I believe the answer is yes, but I have to be cautious and say that if I am wrong I will, of course, inform both the House and my hon. Friend.]

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RELATED WRITTEN QUESTIONS AND ANSWER

QUESTIONS:

Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Department's announcement of 8 November 2014, on pensions of surviving spouses and civil partners of personnel, whether the widows of military personnel killed on duty who have previously lost their military pensions as a result of cohabiting will have such pensions restored if they cease cohabiting; and if he will make a statement. [WPQ asked on 17 November 2014; answered on 25 November 2014]

Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Department's announcement of 8 November 2014, on pensions of surviving spouses and civil partners of personnel, whether war widows who have had their military pensions restored on ceasing to cohabit will retain their restored pensions if they then begin cohabiting (a) with a new partner and (b) with a previous partner; and if he will make a statement. [WPQ asked on 17 November 2014; answered on 25 November 2014]

ANSWER:

Anna Soubry: From 1 April 2015 the spouse or civil partner of all members of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 75 and any War Pension Scheme widow will retain their pension for life if they have not already surrendered it due to remarriage or cohabitation.

From 1 April 2015 those who have already surrendered their pension due to remarriage or cohabitation can apply to have their pension restored for life, should the relationship end or they cease cohabiting.