28 MAY 1948, Page 16


Sts,—My attention has been drawn to a letter which appeared in your issue of May 14th under the heading "Widows under the Health Act." The writer must, I am afraid, have misunderstood any advice she may have rece:ved from officers of the Ministry. The position of widowcpensioners under the existing contribu- tory pensions scheme who attain the age of sixty after July 5th next is not as stated by her. Widows in this class with young children, or who on July 5th are incapable of self-support by reason of some infirmity and are likely to remain incapable for a prolonged period, will be entitled to a

substantially increased pension (33s. 6d. a week in the former case, 26s a week in the latter) from that date.

Those who do not fulfil these conditions will continue to receive their 10s. pensions, but will become insured under the new scheme in the appropriate class (employed, self-employed or non-employed) and by pay- ment of contributions from July until their sixtieth birthday—however short that period may be—will be able to qualify for retirement pensions of 26s. a week at that age, in place of their widows' pensions. This means that such women will be able to get the widow's pension after paying contribu- tions for only a few years, months or even weeks, whereas other women in the same age group will have to contribute for ten years.—Yours faith-

Public Relations Division, 6 Carlton House Terrace, S.W.r.