Sir Oliver Heald MP welcomes justice at last for war widows

Changes have been made so that from 1 April 2015, widows, widowers, and surviving civil partners of all members of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme will retain their pensions for life, even if they remarry. This will fulfil the Government’s ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.

The issue of Pensions for Life for Armed Forces widows was raised by the War Widows’ Association, the Royal British Legion, and the Forces Pension Society, and has caused much concern, and Sir Oliver is delighted that this government has now done the right thing and changed the rules. The system was that a partner of a member of the forces who remarried, entered a civil partnership, or started to cohabit with a new partner had their pension cancelled.

The changes mean that from 1 April next year, the spouse or civil partner of all members of the Forces will retain their pension for life if they have not surrendered it due to remarriage or cohabitation. For those who have surrendered their pension due to remarriage or cohabitation, should that relationship end they can apply to have their pension restored for life.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a key commitment of the Government, and it ensures that personnel, veterans, and their families, do not suffer disadvantage because of their service.

Commenting, Sir Oliver said, “I am delighted that war widows have justice at last. This is an issue I had taken up with Ministers over a number of years, and it is good to see this outcome.”