HL Deb 13 February 1991 vol 526 c8WA
Baroness Jeger

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the conditions for the reinstatement of pensions for war widows who remarry and are subsequently bereaved; and whether the rules are the same for officers' widows and for the widows of other ranks.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Henley)

War widows' pensions cease on remarriage. Widows of other ranks receive a gratuity equal to one year's war widow's pension, but may not have their pension restored if widowed (through non-service causes) a second time. Officers' widows do not receive a gratuity, but if widowed a second time, may have their war widow's pension reinstated subject to need. In effect this means that any other income is topped up to the level of war widows' pensions. A joint working group set up in 1985 with the Council of British Service and Ex-Service Organisations agreed that there was a need for a change in these provisions, However there was no consensus of opinion about what changes should be made to these very long standing provisions; and it was decided to leave matters as they were.