Remembering the war widows

Posted on: November 11th, 2014

As we mark Armistice Day and remember the fallen heroes we can also celebrate the government’s announcement that a loophole in the law will be closed to ensure that widow and widowers of military personnel will keep their pensions despite remarriage or living with a new partner.

Spouses and civil partners of military personnel in receipt of pensions started between 1973 and 2005 had to surrender the benefit if they remarried or decided to live with someone else. This rule did not apply to pensions after 2005 and the rules were challenged as being unfair. The government’s announcement represents a victory for all those who campaigned for change.

As from April 2015 the military pension will not be lost on remarriage or cohabitation. The change is not retrospective so those who have already surrendered the benefit will not have it reinstated and will not be able to claim money back. It is anticipated the change will effect around 4000 military spouses who will no longer have to chose between financial security and love.

Tina Day of Coffin Mew’s family team welcomes the changes: “For many widows or widowers giving up their entitlement to a military pension represented a financial gamble. The changes will ensure the spouses who have lost loved ones whilst defending our country continue to be provided for.”