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Bereavement Benefit

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to revise the operation of bereavement benefit, in respect of the rule regarding the awarding of this benefit to a widower after the payment by his spouse of the married women's reduced rate of national insurance contributions; and if he will make a statement. [120085]

The bereavement benefit scheme introduced much needed reform to the support available in bereavement and provides cover for both spouses in the event of either's premature death, based on the qualifying national insurance contribution record of the deceased person.Some married women made an informed choice to pay a reduced rate of national insurance contributions, in return for which they receive reduced benefit entitlements. This applies to bereavement benefits and we have no plans to change this.