Army partners to get equal footing with widows on pensions

Unmarried
and homosexual partners of Armed Forces personnel are to get the same pensions
rights as widows.

The
new compensation plans, which will come into force in April 2005, will increase
the pensions of widows and unmarried partners by 25 per cent. A one-off payment
of four times the salary of deceased serviceman or woman will also be paid out.

Ivor
Caplin, the minister for veterans, said the new measures were designed to be
fairer, reflect modern practices and meet the needs of the Armed Forces in the 21st
century.

Pensions
provisions cost the Armed Forces £1bn a year.

By
Michael Millar

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