HC Deb 11 March 1991 vol 187 c412W
Mr. Viggers

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will explain the rules which govern the restoration of a widow's pension in circumstances where a woman has been widowed a first time and granted a war widow's pension, subsequently remarries and loses her war widow's pension, and is then widowed a second time and seeks restoration of her war widow's pension.

Miss Widdecombe

War widow's pensions cease on remarriage. Widows of ranks other than officers 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 widow's 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.