HC Deb 04 April 1995 vol 257 cc1075-6W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the comparative totals of pension now received by(a) war widows and (b) widows on basic benefits currently received each year for all appropriate categories. [18159]

Mr. Arbuthnot

The rate of the basic war widow's pension awarded to the widow of a man whose death was due to service in the armed forces, depends on the late husband's rank. For the widow of a private, for example, the annual equivalent rate of the basic pension1 is currently £3,897. The maximum annual pension for the widow of an officer is currently £4,621.

In addition, for the widow of a man whose service ended before 31 March 1973, a supplementary pension is paid; the annual equivalent is currently £2,541. Age allowances of £444, £856, and £1,273 are also payable at ages 65, 70 and 80 respectively. Most war widows now receive a total war widow's pension of about £7,294 a year. All of a war widow's pension is tax free.

Full details of the rates of war pensions and allowances are in the Naval, Military and Air Forces Etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order, a copy of which may be found in the Library.

In comparison, the average pension currently received each year by a widow entitled to either widow's pension or widowed mother's allowance under the national insurance widow's benefits scheme is £2,995. 1Normally payable weekly.

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