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Service Widows (Pensions)

Volume 958: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many Service men who retired before 1950 and whose widows were not eligible for benefit have died in the last five years; and what would have been the cost of allowing their widows to retain 100 per cent. and 50 per cent., respectively, of their pensions.

It would require disproportionate expenditure of time and effort to identify from the lists of pensioners of all three Services who have died in any given period those whose services had terminated before a particular date.Since it would be essential to establish the marital status and rank and length of service for each individual before the theoretical cost of a pension for his widow could be calculated, and since much of this information is no longer, or never has been, on record, no estimate of the overall cost can be attempted.