Triple lockdown of state pensions ‘strains public purse’ as some Britons back double lockdown | Personal finance | Finance

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

In its current version, it sees state pension payments increasing each year by the greater of 2.5%, inflation or average earnings.

However, the temporary suspension of the triple lockdown in favor of a double lockdown this year has again raised questions about the longevity of the policy.

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

More than half of adults believe the triple lock should stay, but support rises dramatically to 78% among those over 55, according to research from Canada Life.

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A lower 9% of over-55s think it should, compared to 26% of 18-34 year olds and 21% of 35-54 year olds.

As inflation continues to soar, the triple lockdown could result in a bumper rise for pensioners this year.

However, some questioned whether this increase was the right approach for the future.

These people cited below-inflation wage increases for workers as the reason the mechanism should be reconsidered.

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The triple-locking mechanism was frozen this year in favor of a double-locking to ensure “fairness for taxpayers”.

This meant that a 3.1% raise had been granted, instead of the 8% many pensioners had hoped for.

Opinions remain divided on the issue, and it will be up to new Prime Minister Liz Truss to chart the way forward.

Andrew Tully, CTO of Canada Life, said: “These are tough times economically and it’s especially tough for many retirees who depend on fixed incomes.

“In recognition of this cost of living challenge, more than half of all UK adults support maintaining the triple lockdown, even when there are plans to increase the state pension by more than 10%.

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

“Unsurprisingly perhaps, the vast majority of those over 55 support triple locking, but less than a third of those under 35 favor the mechanism.

“This biggest increase in the state pension will be an additional strain on the public purse.

“But clearly there would be a significant political challenge if our new Prime Minister suggested watering it down.”

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