Grant Police Widows Pensions for Life - Don't Make Them Choose Between Future Happiness and Pensions
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My husband Colin was a police dog handler and served with the West Midlands Police for 21 years. On Sunday 29th November 1987, he was dispatched with a number of his colleagues to deal with a disturbance; having performed this duty Colin suffered a heart attack and died at the scene – he was 40 years old. At 24 I found myself a widow, and our 4 year old daughter Kelly lost her best friend in the world.
In 2001 I was faced with a very difficult decision: to keep my police widows' pension, or move in with my partner; although I could ill afford to lose the money living apart was becoming intolerable. Our financial lives have been a roller coaster ride since then but we have been happy.
2006 saw Police Pension Regulations change for new entrants and serving officers eligible to transfer to the new scheme. Should the most awful thing happen, they know that their survivors' benefits are now payable for life, irrespective of whether they remarry or form a new partnership.
Changes have also taken place in Northern Ireland: 'Following a change to the Royal Ulster Constabulary Pension Regulations 1988, widows whose widows’ pension ceased on remarriage under the RUC Pension Regulations 1988 will now have their widows pension reinstated from 1 July 2014.
For those of us forever overshadowed by the 1987 Police Pension Regulations, we have been told by the government - that in order to make public service pensions affordable for the tax payer, we will not be able to keep our pensions for life should we remarry or cohabit, and those of us who have already chosen love over money will not have our pensions reinstated. They say that the financial cost is too great.
I think that you will agree that our husbands have already paid the ultimate price and given value for money in serving and dying within their communities. If you agree, and think that all police widows should keep their pensions for life – then please sign this petition.
Cathryn L. Hall
As a direct result of this campaign the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006) were amended; the amendment came into force January 18th 2016.
The widows, widowers and civil partners of police officers killed in the line of duty and covered by the 1987 Police Pension Regulations, will now receive their pensions for life if they were in receipt of a special or augmented pension and remained unmarried and were not living with a partner by 1st April 2015.
The survivors of firefighters killed on duty will also benefit from these changes.
On October 5th 2015 the Scottish Government announced the same amendment to the pensions paid to the survivors of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty in Scotland.
Scotland differs from England and Wales in that the survivors who were entitled to a special or augmented pension before they remarried or moved in with a partner - have had their pensions reinstated and back-dated to 1st October 2015.
We continue to campaign for parity with the RUC widows in Northern Ireland and lifelong pensions for ALL police widows, widowers and civil partners.
- Home Secretary
The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP for Hastings and Rye
- Minister for State for Policing, Fire and Criminal Justice and Victims
Rt. Hon. Nick Hurd MP
Grant Police Widows Pensions for Life - Don't Make Them Choose Between Future Happiness and Pensions.
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