In our efforts to highlight the plight of widows who lose their Service Pensions on cohabitation or remarriage, we produced an advertisement outlining our case and explaining how, for us, this is an Armed Forces Covenant issue. The advertisement was booked to appear in a number of key Service media until we were advised that it had been censored.
Yesterday, in response to an enquiry from The Times, the MOD issued the following statement justifying the decision not to permit the advertising to be shown:
“Whilst contrary views are always welcome, it would be absurd to include advertising that directly criticises clear long standing government policy. This advertising would have created confusion amongst the soldiers and their families.”
In response we have issued the following statement:
The Armed Forces have nobody with a deep understanding of pensions to plead their cause, except for the Forces Pension Society. We do that responsibly, transparently and generally with the support of the chain of command.
With the Justice for Widows campaign we are drawing attention, in a legitimate way, to the fact that the majority of those now serving are also subject to the rules on seizure of pensions on cohabitation and remarriage for the next 40 years. This generation will then die away and the beneficiaries of later schemes will not be so afflicted. If we don’t alert serving personnel and their wives to this, then who will?
Meantime we are urging our Members to write to their constituency MPs. If you are a Society Member and would like details about how to do this, please contact our Assistant General Secretary HugoF@forpen.co.uk