The triple lock is a guarantee that state pensions will rise each year in line with the highest of earnings growth, price inflation or 2.5 per cent – but Boris Johnson has suspended it
Campaigners have launched a final attempt to save the pension triple lock after the Prime Minister blocked an £880 a year pay increase for retirees last month.
Union the TUC warned of retirement poverty for millions as ministers continue plans to scrap the Tory promise next year at a time when many are facing the worst fuel poverty on record.
The proposals are to be debated by MPs at 5:30pm today.
The TUC, National Union of Students and National Pensioners Convention said the decision should be revisited amid rising pensioner poverty.
It comes as Age UK figures show 1.25 million retired women – one in five – are now living below the breadline.
A statement from the three groups, which represent millions of workers, pensioners and students, said: “For pensioners, it means a smaller than expected increase to their income next year.
“And for students and young workers, it will lead to lower state pensions when they retire.
“Students want their grandparents to have dignity in retirement while working mums and dads want the best for their own parents.
“Even after 10 years of the triple lock, the UK state pension is lower than in most comparable countries.”
The triple lock is a promise that state pensions will be increased each year in line with either earnings growth, price inflation or by 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest. It was introduced in 2019 by the Conservatives.
But, with pay growth running at more than 8% due to a distortion caused by the pandemic, the government has swapped it for a ‘double lock’ ie the highest out of 2.5% and September’s inflation figure.
The old, full basic state pension pays £137.60 a week to those who retired before April 6, 2016. Those on the full new pension get £179.60 a week.
How to prepare for retirement
The three groups said if the triple lock had stayed, it would have delivered an £11.42 a week increase.
The statement was signed by TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, NUS president Larissa Kennedy and NPC general secretary Jan Shortt.
Ms Shortt said: “The arguments for modifying or scrapping the triple lock because it is unfair to younger workers and the taxpayer are disingenuous at best.
“Young workers are going to be even more reliant on the state pension in their retirement than their parents and grandparents.
“Future generations will be the biggest losers from any attempt to water down the triple lock, because the increases it delivers accumulate over time.
Is the state pension enough? Let us know in the comments section below
In Pictures via Getty Images)
“It has a vital role to play in making sure that today’s workers have the security of a decent state pension in future.”
Ms O’Grady said: “The triple lock was introduced to help lift pensioners out of poverty. And to compensate for the UK having one of the least generous state pensions in the world.
“Suspending it will hit old and young alike and sets a dangerous precedent.
“If ministers are allowed to pick and choose when to apply the triple lock, the result will be lower state pensions for future generations and more pensioners experiencing hardship.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “The DWP expects to spend more than £125billion on benefits for pensioners in 2020/21.”
Dennis Reed, director of campaigning group Silver Voices, said the “sobering research” should force the Government to “rethink” its triple lock decision.