State pension triple lock ‘strain on public purse’

Pensions triple lock scrapped for millions of Brits

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The state pension triple lock mechanism dates back to 2010 when it was introduced by the then-coalition government. It was decided pensioners’ incomes needed to be protected in real terms, and the policy was widely welcomed.

In its current iteration, it sees state pension payments increase each year by whichever is the highest of 2.5 percent, inflation or average earnings.

However, the temporary suspension of the triple lock in favour of a double lock this year has once again sparked questions about the policy’s longevity.

New research has shown a stark generational divide when it comes to opinions on the triple lock.

More than half of adults believe the triple lock should stay, but support significantly increases to 78 percent amongst over 55s, according to a Canada Life study.

Regardless, younger people have begun to question whether the policy remains appropriate, particularly given the current financial challenges faced by the Government.

Only a third of those aged between 18 and 34 were found to support the triple lock.

On the other hand, a fifth of adults believe the Government should instead resort to a double lock – in a version of the policy observed this year.

These individuals assert the state pension should be increased by either 2.5 percent, or the rise in earnings: whichever is higher.

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A lower nine percent of over 55s believe this should be the case, compared with 26 percent of 18 to 34 year olds, and 21 percent of 35 to 54 year olds.

With inflation continuing to soar, the triple lock could deliver a bumper increase for pensioners this year.

However, some have questioned whether this rise is the right approach going forward.

These individuals have cited below-inflation pay increases for working people as a reason why the mechanism should be reconsidered.

The triple lock mechanism was frozen this year in favour of a double lock to provide “fairness for taxpayers”. 

It meant an increase of 3.1 percent was delivered, rather than the eight percent many pensioners were hoping for. 

Opinion remains divided on the matter, and it will be up to new Prime Minister Liz Truss to chart a path forward.

Andrew Tully, technical director at Canada Life, said: “This is an economically challenging time and it is especially difficult for many pensioners who rely on fixed incomes. 

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“In recognition of this cost of living challenge, more than half of all UK adults support the continuation of the triple lock, even when it’s set to increase the state pension by more than 10 percent.

“When we analyse the data we can see a difference of opinion between the generations. 

“Unsurprisingly perhaps, the vast majority of over 55s support the triple lock, but less than a third of under 35s are in favour of the mechanism.

“This largest ever increase to the state pension will be an added strain on the public purse.

“But it’s clear there would be a significant political challenge if our new Prime Minister was to suggest watering it down.”

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