HC Deb 23 May 1991 vol 191 c576W
Mr. Wilson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what information he has on the level of war widow's pension or equivalent benefit in all EC countries which sustained casualties in the second world war.

Mr. Jack

Currently war widow's pensions administered by the Department range from a standard £67.60 a week to a possible £103.42 including age and rank additions. These pensions are payable to all widows whose husbands' death is attributable to service at any time. In addition second world war widows and all other pre-1973 war widows receive special payments of £44.36 a week from the Ministry of Defence. These sums are in addition to anything which may be payable under Ministry of Defence occupational schemes.

The European Commission does not collect information on war widows' pensions payable in the member states. The table gives such information as we have been able to obtain on other countries' schemes. I am advised that rates vary widely depending on such factors as military rank or previous civilian occupation.

Weekly rate
Denmark Between £89.69 and £129.15.
France Between £39.51 and £107.11.
Italy £30.34 plus supplement of £5.96 if annual income less than £3,543.
If husband died after the war, £14.21—£14.69.
Belgium £97.94, if husband killed in service.
Germany £38.10 (basic rate) plus supplements according to factors such as extent of injuries—up to a total weekly maximum pension of about £167.71.


1. The rates have been changed into sterling using purchasing power parities.

2. In France an additional allowance may be payable if the widow has no other pension.