HL Deb 05 March 2004 vol 658 cc127-8WA
Baroness Strange

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will withdraw the war widows' pension for those who become widowed after April 2005. [HL1542]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach)

The new compensation scheme will be introduced on 6 April 2005 for all Service personnel whose injury, illness or death due to service was caused on or after that date. This will replace the current War Pensions Scheme and Armed Forces Pension Scheme attributable benefits. If the event that led to a death that was attributable to service occurred before 6 April 2005, then benefits would be paid under the current attributable compensation arrangements, even if the death occurs after the new scheme has been introduced. We recognise there may be cases where a death cannot be attributed to a single event in time and where, therefore, a judgment will be required on the appropriate compensation arrangement. We will be developing guidelines to inform such judgments. In particular, we will ensure that no claims fall between the new and old schemes.