Widows and widowers of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty will now receive their deceased partners’ pension for life even if they remarry or move in with a new partner.

This announcement puts an end to the previous system where some widows or widowers of officers killed on duty lost their partners’ pension if they remarried, formed a civil partnership or moved in with their new partner.

The Scottish Government confirmed that 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or civil partners of police officers or firefighters killed in the line of duty who have already had their pension withdrawn.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.

Improvements to public service pension schemes are not generally applied retrospectively. However this change reflects the Government’s gratitude to the small number of police officers and firefighters who make the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our communities.

Falkirk West MSP and Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said:

“Our police officers and firefighters do an outstanding job but that can often mean putting their lives in danger to protect our safety.

“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, this announcement reflects our thanks to those in the Falkirk area and throughout Scotland 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.”