Most triple-locked state pension to rise to £10,000 a year, but generations divided over steep rise for older people

  • The State Pension usually increases depending on the greater of: inflation, salary growth or 2.5%
  • Support is overwhelming among the over-55s, but much lower among younger people
  • New Prime Minister Liz Truss has previously promised to restore the triple lock
  • This year, the people’s guarantee was abandoned, and the pensioners were raised by 3.1%.

Triple lock: State pension could hit £10,880 a year if inflation continues to rise

The triple lock promise must be kept even if it means a double-digit rise in the state pension to £10,000 or more, according to more than half of adults in a new poll.

Support was overwhelming among the over-55s, who will either benefit immediately or in the coming years, but sharply weaker among younger generations.

Under the triple lock, the state pension must increase by the maximum of rising prices, rising average wages or 2.5 per cent.

The People’s Guarantee was scrapped this year, leading to a 3.1 per cent rise in the state pension just as inflation kicked in in the spring.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss has previously promised to restore the triple lock, but is likely to come under pressure to change it due to pressure on public finances.

The Bank of England predicts that headline inflation will top 13 per cent this autumn, meaning pensioners who will receive their full state pension after 2016. will increase to around £209.20 a week or £10,880 a year.

About 55 percent of adults currently triple lock, according to a Canada Life survey representative of all UK adults.

But that figure is 78 percent among people over 55, 44 percent among people ages 35 to 54, and 33 percent among people ages 18 to 34.

Overall, 18 per cent supported a move to a double lock, which would see the state pension rise by either 2.5 per cent or instead of a pay rise.

This received support from 26 percent and 21 percent of the young and middle-aged, respectively, but only 9 percent from the older generation.

If the government had not lifted the triple lock this year, the rise in state pensions would have been determined by wage growth, which was 8.3 percent in the crucial month last fall.

Ministers scrapped the salary element because the figure was temporarily skewed by the pandemic.

The Canada Life survey also found a significant cohort of people who said they didn’t care whether or not the triple lock promise was kept, for a variety of reasons – see below.

Source: Canada Life

Source: Canada Life

Earlier this summer, a row erupted among senior politicians over whether older people should face a sharp increase in their state pension when workers are paid less than inflation.

But former pensions minister Ross Altman, who last time led the doomed bid to save the triple lock, warned the government not to betray pensioners again.

What are This is Money readers talking about?

Our recent poll showed strong support for older people to get the full State Pension boost promised under the triple lock next April.

Have your say below.


Should the government follow through on its triple lock promise and give older people a full increase in their state pension this year?

  • yes 5361 votes
  • no 208 votes

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s cost of living package earlier this year additional payments are provided for the elderly, as well as extended supplements for the less well-off.

“These are economically challenging times, and it’s especially difficult for many retirees who rely on a fixed income,” says Andrew Tully, CTO of Canada Life.

“Recognizing this cost of living challenge, more than half of all adults in the UK support keeping the triple lock, even if it has to increase the state pension by more than 10 per cent.

“When we analyze the data, we see a difference in attitudes between generations.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of over-55s support the triple lock, but less than a third of under-35s favor the mechanism.

“While this biggest-ever rise in the state pension will place an additional burden on the public purse, it is clear that there will be a significant political challenge if our new Prime Minister proposes to moderate it.”

Tully also points out that not all pensioners currently claiming the state pension will receive the full rate of more than £10,000 a year, assuming the increase comes under the triple lock.

Around a quarter get less than the full new state pension of £185.15 a week.

This is usually because they didn’t make enough National Insurance contributions during their working years, or because their employers have ‘opted out’ of their second state pension or SERPS top-up and instead they get an increased labor pension.

How much is the state pension?

The basic state pension is currently £141.85 a week, or around £7,400 a year. It is supplemented by additional state pensions – S2P and Serps – if they are accrued for years of service.

The two-tier state system was replaced in 2016 with a new flat-rate state pension. This currently works out to £185.15 a week or around £9,600 a year.

People who have contracted S2P and Serps for many years and retired after April 2016 get less than full new state pension.

But they can fill gaps in unpaid or underpaid National Insurance in previous years, make voluntary top-ups to buy additional qualifying years, and build up more years if they have enough time between now and state pension age.

Workers had to have 30 years of contributions to get the old state pension, but now they have to have 35 years of contributions to get the new flat rate state pension.

But even if you’ve paid in full for the full 35 years, if you’ve signed up for a few years on top of that, it could reduce what you get.

Everyone gets a choice postponement of state pension to gain more in his later years. You can check your NI record here.


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