Under the old system, War Widows and Widowers whose spouses died or left military service between April 1973 and April 2005 would have to give up their survivor’s pension if they remarried, cohabited with a new partner or formed a civil partnership. However, those whose spouse died or left military service before 1973 or after April 2005, kept their survivor's pension through other schemes.
The War Widows Association felt strongly that this was unfair as it meant some widows and widowers were effectively left ‘disadvantaged’ because of the date their spouse died and therefore campaigned for change, calling it the "wrong time to die".
Fittingly, a few days before Armistice Day, the government announced that as of 1st April 2015 those who already receive a survivor's pension will be allowed to keep their pension for life if they do remarry, cohabit or form a civil partnership. This will offer some comfort to the 4000 people thought to benefit who have lost loved ones serving for their country.