Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Married Women Pensioners on 27th January 1987.
Mr. Wigley Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what work his Department has undertaken to make married women pensioners aware of the abolition of the half test rule, and of the tax allowance which they can now claim following its abolition.
Mr. Major A total of 67,792 potential beneficiaries were identified in 1985 from computer records. Those women who might benefit in cash terms from the abolition of the rule were invited to claim their pension entitlement. The remaining women, who were already drawing pensions on their husband’s contributions which equalled or exceeded those to which they would be entitled on their own contributions, were informed of their entitlement and advised that it might be helpful to them for tax purposes. A publicity campaign was conducted in an attempt to reach those women who could not be identified individually. Advertisements were places in the national press, women’s magazines and specialist publications for the elderly, and leaflets inviting women to claim their pension entitlement were widely distributed. Both the advertisements and the leaflets included a coupon claim form. Consulates in countries overseas were also notified of the new arrangements.
As a result of these measures a total of 35,254 married women have been awarded pension for the first time or have had their previous entitlement increased.