PARTNERS of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty will now receive their loved one’s pension for life following changes made by the Scottish Government.
Previously, widows or widowers of those killed on duty lost their partner’s pension if they re-married, formed a civil partnership or moved in with their new partner.
The Scottish Government said the changes would also apply to those husbands, wives or civil partners of police officers or firefighters killed in the line of duty who have already had their pension withdrawn. They will be entitled to payment of their pension again from today.
Justice secretary Michael Matheson said: “It is simply not right that the loved ones of those who have given their lives to protect our communities are denied what is rightfully theirs and, while improvements to our public sector pensions are not usually applied retrospectively, today’s announcement reflects our thanks to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
“I am committed to ensuring the Scottish Government reinstates this entitlement to those eligible as soon as possible and I have asked the Scottish Public Pensions Agency to take the necessary action to implement this change quickly.”
From early November, the UK Government will no longer withdraw pensions on remarriage or entering of a civil partnership for families in England and Wales, but the UK Government is not reinstating previously withdrawn pensions.
Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “The Scottish Police Federation welcome today’s announcement as it rights a long-standing and historic wrong for police widows and widowers.
“We are particularly delighted that the government has gone further and agreed to reinstate previously withdrawn pension for those who lost loved ones but were fortunate enough to love again later in their lives.”
Chris McGlone, executive council member for Scotland in the Fire Brigades Union, added: “The FBU know this announcement will be welcomed by widows, widowers and civil partners of firefighters killed in the line of duty and would urge those in authority to implement the effect of this decision as soon as possible.”