Former Officer That Successfully Fought To Change Forces Pension Rules Dies

Posted on March 20, 2019

In September, Samantha McConnell found she had pancreatic and liver cancer and was given just weeks to live. Soon after receiving the news, the RAF veteran discovered that, with no partner, parents or siblings, her pension would not transfer to her children after her death as she joined the RAF in the 1990s under an old scheme. The children would also have had to have been born when she was serving or up to nine months after leaving the forces. Her eldest was born three years after she left the forces.

However, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson personally intervened. In a statement he said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of these tragic circumstances. Since learning about this case, I have instructed the Department to reverse this decision. I hope that this gives Sammi, her son and daughter the peace of mind that they deserve, knowing they have financial security for the future. They remain in our thoughts.”

The Forces Pension Society said they welcomed it as “excellent news” after the Defence Secretary had agreed to the special circumstances in the case.

Last week, Samantha passed away after months of battling cancer. On a crowdfunding page set up to raise £50,000 for Samantha’s children Grace and Rory, former colleague Tina Bessell said: “It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Sammi McConnell lost her battle to pancreatic cancer. Sam leaves a legacy of love, kindness & fun, and two beautiful children who need all the love and support we can give in the years to come.”

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