Saturday 26 March 2016

Widows Pension For Life

Following recent changes to the Regulations concerning survivors’ pensions, and how they are dealt with should the survivor remarry, co-habit or form a civil partnership, it has become clear that there are three different approaches in operation within the United Kingdom.

The Justice Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, David Ford, announced on 21st March 2014 that all survivors of members of the RUC pension scheme should retain their pensions for life irrespective of the circumstances of the death of the former officer. As a result all survivors are entitled to have their pensions reinstated effective
from 1st July 2014.

On the 18th January this year the 2006 Police [Injury Benefit] Regulations were amended [see Circular 39/15].

This change means that survivors’ pensions paid in respect of 1987 Police Pension scheme members will no longer have to forfeit their pension where the police officer dies on duty or dies as a result of an injury received on duty.

In England and Wales this change only applies to widows, widowers or surviving civil partners, who marry, remarry, form a civil partnership or start to cohabit on or after 1st April 2015. This change came into force retrospectively from 1st April 2015.

In Scotland however the change applies to all those wives, husbands, or civil partners of police officers who died on duty who have already had their pension withdrawn because of remarriage, forming a civil partnership or cohabitation and, consequently they will have their pension reinstated with effect from 1st October 2015 irrespective of when the remarriage, cohabitation or civil partnership occurred.

In view of the changes made we would encourage all our members to write to their MP to highlight the injustice in an effort to bring pressure on Government to adopt a standard approach across the UK in respect of this matter.
Please click on this link to get the template letter

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