§ Miss Geraldine Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what changes there will be to widows' pensions after 2000 resulting from legislation enacted prior to 1 May 1997. 
§ Mr. Timms
As a result of legislation enacted prior to 1 May 1997, the amount of SERPS which a widow can inherit from her late husband is being reduced from 100 per cent. to 50 per cent. for a woman widowed on or after 6 April 2000. Widows already receiving inherited SERPS will not be affected.
This change was part of a package of SERPS reforms introduced by the Social Security Act 1986. Other changes included a phased reduction in the rate at which SERPS pensions build up, from 25 per cent. of reckonable earnings to 20 per cent., and the ending of the "best 20 years" provision.