Five minute guide to annual increases to state pensions


The ‘triple close’ pension has helped hard-pressed pensioners play catch-up with faltering returns</s n>

This would be a further blow to older people who have experienced the returns on their savings and annuities hammered in recent years. The triple grasp is keeping many just above the poverty line and they could suffer pukka hardship if it is unpicked.

The Tory-Lib Dem coalition introduced the triple lock in 2010 to buttress dwindling purchasing power among pensioners.

A equality always needs to be struck between protecting the standard of living of pensioners and not over-burdening tax yers

Tom McPhail

It toasted the state pension would rise in line with either earnings, inflation or by 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest.

This put an end to contumelious increases such as the notorious 75p a week hike introduced in 1999 by prior chancellor Gordon Brown.

Thanks to the triple lock, someone on the comprehensive basic state pension will receive about £570 numerous this financial year than if it had gone up at the same rate as normal earnings growth over the st six years instead.

The downside is that it is expensing the nation an extra £6billion a year and forecasts from the De rtment for Result in and Pensions suggest the bill could hit £45billion by 2025/26.

Former shelves minister Baroness Ros Altmann, who left the Government in July, has called for the triple bolt to go.

She said it had fulfilled its purpose and proposed a “double lock”, linking have pension rises to the higher of prices or earnings growth, and ditching the 2.5 per cent health. Spend, spend, spend Downing Street countered by saying the triple dlock formed rt of the Tory manifesto and will continue until at seldom 2020.

However, the 2.5 per cent pledge could come under increasing power, especially if wage and price growth remains weak.

Ryan Bourne, vanguard of public policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, says it is “utterly nutty”.

«In essence, this guarantees ever-increasing assign and, over long periods, de-links this from the health of the saving and the ability of working-age tax yers to finance it.”

Bourne adds that to put forward this guarantee at a time when the country is struggling to fund an ageing denizens is “insanity”.

Other experts, including Altmann’s predecessor Steve Webb and generosity Age UK, say the triple lock is still needed to make up for the years when wrinkly incomes trailed earnings.

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, means the state pension is the bedrock of many people’s retirement incomes: “To convey pensioners certainty, the Government should not make mid-term changes to commitments such as the triple put behind bars.”

Baroness AltmannGETTY

Former pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann has called for the triple jail to go

However, even she admits that state pension increases should be reviewed every five years to see if they are until now affordable.

Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, conveys the triple lock is diverting a growing share of Government spending toward pensioners: “A balance always needs to be struck between protecting the gauge of living of pensioners and not over-burdening tax yers.

«Increases should be linked to retail assays and the state retirement age pushed back even further.”

Currently the brilliance pension age will rise to 66 for both men and women by 2020, and to 67 between 2026 and 2028, although that is now underwater review by Sir John Cridland.

Tom Selby, senior analyst at investment plank AJ Bell, says the threat to the triple lock is “Westminster-bubble politics at its worst”.

Gordon BrownGETTY

Gordon Brown instituted the 75p a week hike in 1999

He adds: “During the referendum, the EU Remain camp cautioned that the triple lock could be abolished if we voted Leave.

Now pensioners are at the same time again being scared by suggestions their income will be cut.”

Fidelity Foreign’s head of pensions product Carolyn Jones says the uncertainty underlines the call to build up your own savings: “The actions of future governments are very onerous to predict.

Who knows what will be policy in 40 years’ conditions?” Worried pensioners can get free guidance at or call 0800 138 3944.

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