§ Sir Michael McNair-Wilson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the actuarial basis on which war widows' pensions are calculated; whether they are in any way contributory; and whether they represent a percentage of the husband/service man's salary.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
War widows' pensions are not paid by the Ministry of Defence. Provided, however, that they are eligible, service widows may receive special rates of pension under the terms of the armed forces pension scheme if their husband's death is attributable to his service. The special rates are on scales related to the rank held by the husband at the date his service ended. They approximate to 90 per cent. of the pension which he would have earned had he completed the maximum period of reckonable service required for a full career pension, less an adjustment to reflect the difference between the standard rate of war widow's pension and the normal rate of national insurance widow's pension. No direct contributions are paid to secure the benefits of the armed forces scheme, but an adjustment is made by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, taking into account the value of those benefits as part of the total remuneration package, in determining recommended rates of pay for the armed forces.