Ask the Expert: Will I still get an army pension if my husband dies before me?

PUBLISHED: 05:30 11 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:29 11 August 2018

Our reader wants to know more about her husband's army pension. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Our reader wants to know more about her husband's army pension. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto


Our reader has concerns over her husband’s army pension if he were to die before her. Carl Lamb of Almary Green explains.

My husband joined the army in 1942 and stayed on after the war until 1972 – he had a total of 30 years’ service so has a reasonably good pension from the army.

But we can’t find details of what happens if he dies before me (he’s 92 and I’m 86).

Do I still get a pension from the army at that stage? I have no idea who I would need to contact to find out more. Can you help please?

Response from Carl Lamb of Almary Green

Where death of the ex-service person has occurred during retirement – ie while the armed forces pension is in payment – the scheme normally provides a widow(er)’s pension that is a portion of the pension being paid.

That portion will depend on a number of factors, including in which of the three armed forces pension schemes in place your husband’s entitlements were built up.

You may also qualify for a short term pension based on your husband’s pension for the first 91 days after his death (182 days if you had “eligible children”).

The amount you get is likely to be a third of the pension your husband currently receives, given that he left the army in 1972, but it is worth checking this.

The rules are different if death is attributable to the individual’s service – presumably not the case for your husband.

You can get more information from Veterans UK Pension Division by phoning their helpline on 0800 085 3600.

Alternatively, you can write to them at Mail Point 480, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX. The Forces Pension Society’s website (see may also be of help.

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