Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

29 JAN 2015

Police widows pension change long overdue

Winchester MP Steve Brine has met with Police Minister Mike Penning to encourage him to consider the case for all police widows and widowers to get their widowed pension provision for life - even if they remarry or live with a new partner.

Mr Brine, who works as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister in Theresa May's Home Office team, said; "This is a basic issue of fairness. Some police widows and widowers currently lose their pensions for life if they remarry or start living with a new partner. Changes were made in 2006 but they didn't include everyone and this group is effectively prevented from re-marrying and having a complete family life unless they accept losing their widowed pension.

"I don't think those who lost their lives protecting our communities would want this – and now that this government has agreed changes for war widows and widowers it's right and fair that we do the same for the police."

The widow of a recently fallen police office, living in our local community, is working with Mr Brine to force through this change in the law. She adds; "Nearly two years ago, my husband of 27 days was killed in a road traffic 'accident'. He was a father, a husband, a son, a brother, an Uncle and an on duty, serving Police Officer. Two days after he died, I had to sign paperwork relating to pensions and finances. Everything was a blur.... except the words 'if you co-habit or re-marry you will lose your pension'. I remember feeling incensed, disgusted and physically sick.

"Finding someone else isn't an option for me. However I know that there are plenty of Police survivor families who have had to make the decision between the financial stability of the pension their spouse paid into and future love and companionship. I implore the Government to right this wrong and am thankful to Steve Brine for his involvement and support in this matter within Government."Minister Penning told the city MP that he was sympathetic to the argument and was discussing a change with Treasury colleagues.

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