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War Widows: Pensions

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Angela Crawley Angela Crawley Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence Procurement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what alternative methods his Department is examining to mitigate the effect of the loss of the war widows' pension for people who remarried between 1973 and 2015.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Government recognises the unique commitment that Service families make to our country and remains sympathetic to the circumstances of those widows who remarried and cohabited before 1 April 2015. However, the Government currently has no plans to reinstate War Widows’ Pensions for war widows who remarried or cohabited before the 2015 changes took effect.

As the Secretary of State for Defence said to the House on 3 February 2020, we are examining alternative methods to see whether we can mitigate the impact. However, this is a complex policy area and it is taking time to carefully consider the potential options within both financial and legal constraints. This work is ongoing, and any recommendations will have to first be agreed with other Government Departments.

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