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Pensions triple-lock to be suspended for one year

9th September 2021

The triple lock on the state pension will be temporarily suspended next year due to an anticipated "unusual change in earnings" of 8%, saving the Treasury £4 billion, Work and Pension Secretary Thérèse Coffey has announced.

For the 2022/23 tax year, pensions will rise either by 2.5% or inflation, whichever is highest, breaking a Conservative manifesto triple lock pledge that said state pensions could also grow in line with wage growth if that was the highest.

Coffey said the move would ensure "pensioners are not unfairly benefitting from a statistical anomaly", given that wage growth has been artificially boosted by the thousands of workers coming off the furlough scheme and returning to payroll.

The maximum offered by the basic state pension is £137.60 a week, while the new state pension is £179.60 a week.

As far back as April 2020, the Social Market Foundation was calling for a "double lock" on pensions, arguing that "shaving £4bn from the growth of the £100(bn) pension bill is not too much to ask" as the country emerged from the COVID-19 crisis with a mounting annual deficit.

While Coffey was adamant in Parliament the suspension is temporary, former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said in a tweet:

"Tearing up triple lock sets a dangerous precedent threatening today's pensioners & pensioners of tomorrow."

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