Widows’ pension plan a ‘step in the right direction’

18 March 2015

Plans outlined by Chancellor George Osborne in today’s Budget statement to allow widows of police officers to remarry without losing their pension rights have been welcomed by the Police Federation.

Mr Osborne made the announcement in Parliament today (Wednesday, 18 March) following a campaign organised by Kate Hall, whose police officer husband Colin died after having a heart attack when just 40 while working as a dog handler for West Midlands Police after being called to a disturbance at a block of flats in 1997.

A petition Kate set up to urge a change in the law which would allow widows of police officers to benefit from their former spouse’s pension rights after their death has reached nearly 74,000 signatures.

Alex Duncan, who leads on police widows’ pensions for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘We welcome the Chancellor’s Budget announcement that widows of police officers will be able to remarry without losing their former partner’s pension rights and we would like to thank Richard Graham, MP for Gloucester, for initiating the recent debate on the subject in Parliament. This appears to be a significant step in the right direction but we need more detail to assess whether it adequately addresses the points of the widows’ campaign, skilfully led by Kate Hall.

‘Until such point as the government makes the necessary adjustment to ensure that the government doesn’t punish officers’ widows and widowers for moving on in their life, we will continue to help Kate lobby for the rights of all bereaved police widows to embark on a new relationship without fear of losing their pension.’