Armed Forces Widows Pensions for Life
The Royal British Legion has published a Press Release dated 18th December 2013, backing the Forces Pensions Society campaign on behalf of Service Widows, stating they should not be forced to choose between a relationship and a pension, following the Governments refusal to engage over the Widow's Pensions for Life issue.
There are currently two pension schemes in force; 1975 and 2005. Under the 1975 scheme, widows whose service husbands did not die in combat forfeit their pensions as soon as they make a new life with another partner. The 2005 scheme allows people to keep their pensions for life, although its terms are less generous.
The Press Release conveys the message that Service spouses are frequently unable to contribute to their own pensions by the nature of military life, relocation's preventing them following a career, hence hindering them from contributing to a pension plan or qualifying for a full state pension.
It states that "The Covenant principle is that Service life should not cause disadvantage and where it does, special corrective steps may be taken". Service widows have clearly been placed at a pensions disadvantage and this should be recognised in the Armed Forces Pensions Scheme.