State pension: Guy Opperman says SNP are ‘misguided’
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The triple lock is a pledge made by the Government to raise the state pension amount by either the CPI inflation rate, 2.5 percent or the rate of average earnings. However, due to the furlough scheme artificially inflating wages during the pandemic, the Government announced last year the triple lock would be temporarily suspended for one year in a bid to save money. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that a eight percent rise in the state pension due to the wage increase would add around £3billion a year beyond what had been predicted to Government expenditure.
As a result, the triple lock suspension meant the state pension will rise by either 2.5 percent of the rate of inflation; whichever is higher.
The Bank of England predicts that inflation will hit 7.5 percent in April, meaning pensioners should receive a hike to their retirement pots.
Despite this, recent polling by Nerdwallet has found that many older Britons are becoming “distrustful” following the Government’s state pension freeze.
Some 36 percent of respondents said that the GGovernment’s decision to suspend the triple lock has made them less trustful of current and future pension policy.
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This particular figure jumps to 52 percent among those aged 65 and over, according to Nerdwallet’s survey.
Currently, support for the triple lock suspension has just a quarter of respondents agreeing with it.
Of this group, support was highest amongst the youngest 18-24 year age group at 40 percent and lowest among those aged 45 to 54 years old at 19 percent.
Around 35 percent admitted that the triple lock freeze on state pensions has left them concerned about the impact it will have on their future retirement pot.
Richard Eagling, Senior Pensions Expert at NerdWallet said: “The triple lock is an expensive commitment for any Government to carry but it has enjoyed strong public support since it was introduced in 2011.
“Fear of voter reprisals has left the Government wary of altering the triple lock to try to rein in such liabilities, and these concerns are not unfounded.
“Suspending the triple lock has undermined confidence in the Government’s pension policy and left many questioning whether more permanent changes could be on the cards.
“A significant number of individuals are coming to the conclusion not to overly rely on what the state pension might deliver and are now looking to step up their own pension provision to increase their chances of enjoying a decent income in retirement.”
Following the announcement of the triple lock freeze, Age UK noted how “imperative” the state pension was to everyday older Britons.
At the time, the charity stated: “With more than two million pensioners currently living in poverty, there’s a strong case for keeping the triple lock as it is at the moment.
“However I do think most older people will understand if they receive only a relatively modest state pension increase next April.
“It is however imperative that the triple lock reverts to normal next year to help all those pensioners on low & modest incomes who desperately need it.”
Previously speaking to Express.co.uk, a DWP spokesperson said: “We want pensioners to receive all the support to which they are entitled.
“Our winter fuel payments are supporting over 11 million pensioners with their energy bills and we are continuing to encourage those eligible for Pension Credit, and the wide range of other benefits it can provide, to make a claim.
“The one-year move to temporarily suspend the triple lock ensures fairness for both pensioners and taxpayers.
“Combined with last year’s 2.5 percent increase to pensions – a step we took when earnings fell and inflation barely rose – we have ensured pensioners’ incomes have been protected.”
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