State pension triple lock warning as policy may be scrapped

Pensions triple-lock ‘right thing to do’ says Altmann

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The state pension triple lock ensures the sum rises each year by whichever is the highest of 2.5 percent, inflation or average earnings. The policy, which has been in place since 2010, is intended to offer pensioners a real terms increase in their amount each year.

With the policy temporarily ditched this year due to perceived unfairness for younger taxpayers, and a new Government, there are concerns about the future of the triple lock.

Both Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have, as of yet, refused to commit to the triple lock being restored next year. 

It is likely the issue will be clarified in the upcoming Autumn Statement on November 17.

However, one expert has suggested the statement might not provide what many pensioners are hoping for.

Ray Black, managing director of Money Minder, said: “Hopefully, on November 17, we will find out if the new Prime Minister plans to follow through with the previous PM’s promise to reinstate the triple lock.

“Potentially, this could increase the newer flat rate pension to over £200 per week.

“However, it’s very possible that won’t happen now as the PM and Chancellor concentrate on reducing borrowing costs and repairing the Government’s balance sheets.

“In my opinion, it’s quite possible the use of the word ‘austerity’ could once again become quite commonplace in the short term.”

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The expert warned it is likely to be a tough winter for many older people.

Rising energy and food costs are creating worries for millions of people, even with the Government’s promise of support.

As a result, many older people will be hoping for the triple lock to be restored, in order to provide them with more financial stability.

For the Government, restoring the triple lock, may be financially costly, but necessary, according to Mr Black.

He continued: “Sunak and his Government will be doing their best to get everybody on side in preparation for a general election by January 2025.

“While this seems a long way off, they’ll need to start working on this goal as soon as possible.

“Keeping the triple lock in place may help the Government with this.

“Ending it could be a disappointment for more than just the UK’s pensioners.”

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However, others are also fearful about the future of the triple lock mechanism.

In an interview with GB News, former chancellor Philip Hammond suggested the triple lock is “unsustainable”.

He said: “Is it really right we should always up the rate by the highest of wages or prices, or by two percent?

“I think that is quite difficult to justify, and not all pensioners are poor.

“So I think there is a case for looking again at the way we treat pensioners, and possibly for distinguishing the poorest pensioners from the great body of pensioners, some of whom are really quite comfortably off.”

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