Exservicemen: Pensions

Defence written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Michael Mates Michael Mates Conservative, East Hampshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the Government will offer ex-servicemen who retired from the armed forces before 31 March 1973 the opportunity of buying their wives a forces family widows pension at half-rate on an actuarially calculated, no cost basis.

Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Veterans)

No. It would be difficult, in equity, to extend the half rate pension to widows whose husbands had left the service before 31 March 1973 because they had not contributed financially towards the improvement. It has also been the long-standing policy of successive Governments that discretionary changes to improve the benefits offered by public service pensions schemes should be implemented for future service only.

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