Search Legislation

Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999

Bereavement Allowance

The inserted section 39B provides for the Bereavement Allowance. Most of the entitlement conditions of Widow’s Pension (in section 38) are retained, but with the following exceptions:

  • the benefit is available for widowers who meet the conditions of entitlement;

  • the benefit is only payable for a maximum period of 52 weeks, beginning with the date of death;

  • no additional pension (State Earnings Related Pension – SERPS) will be paid with the benefit (though note the provisions for SERPS in Retirement Pension for widows and widowers in section 56).

The inserted section 39C provides for the rates at which the two new benefits are payable.

Under subsection (1), the weekly rate of Widowed Parent’s Allowance will be calculated in the same way as for Widowed Mother’s Allowance now.

This means that the inclusion of an additional pension (SERPS) will continue to be made on the basis of existing legislation. The 50% reduction in the value of SERPS from April 2000–which was provided for in the Social Security Act 1986–will remain unchanged (subsection (4)). However, see commentary on section 52.

Subsection (2) makes provision for the weekly rate of a Bereavement Allowance. It is to be paid at a basic rate only with no additional pension.

Subsection (5) preserves for Bereavement Allowance the rules which vary the amount of benefit according to the age of the widow when her husband dies or when her entitlement to Widowed Mother’s Allowance ends.

There is a 7% deduction from the full rate of benefit for each year she is aged under 55 at that date—and, once determined, the amount stays fixed. The same rule applies to all surviving spouses for Bereavement Allowance.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources