§ Mr. Andrew Bowden
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates are available to him of the cost of introducing the payment of a widow's pension to the widows of post-retirement marriages to public servants.
§ Mr. Brooke
In accordance with the Social Security Pensions Act 1975, public service pension schemes already provide pensions for the widows of post-retirement marriages in respect of their husband's service since 6 April 1978. The act did not require occupational pension schemes to make similar provision for those retiring before 6 April 1978, and it has been the practice of successive Governments not to make retrospective changes in public service pensions schemes. Estimates of the cost of extending the provision for those retiring before 6 April 1978 are not readily available, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.