Mr. Ted Garrett
To ask the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government are now in a position to remove the differences which currently exist between the pension entitlements of pre-1973 and post-1973 war widows.
§ The Prime Minister
All war widows receive pensions under the war pension scheme administered by the Department of Health and Social Security at the same standard rate regardless of when the husband served or died. Differences in total entitlement arise from changes made in the armed forces occupational pension scheme in 1973. These changes improved the provision made for widows where the husband gave service on or after 31 March 1973 and died from causes attributable to his service. It was recognised at the time that in accordance with normal superannuation practice, and in view of the very great costs which would have been involved, the new provisions could not he applied retrospectively. That position has not changed.