Sumary of ROS ALTMANN: Axing state pension triple lock earnings link would be unwise:
- Ros Altmann is a campaigner for the elderly and a former Pensions Minister, who is now a member of the House of Lords.
- It is disappointing to read that the Chancellor plans to abandon the triple lock protection for state pensions and remove the part of it related to average earnings.
- Pensioners are not all wealthy, and millions have to live on the state pension which is the lowest in the developed world.
- A comprehensive review of pensioner support is needed, not short-term sudden changes.
- The triple lock itself is a political construct, but since 2016 it has become even less effective because it mostly protects the youngest pensioners who are on the new flat rate system.
- For older pensioners, it only applies to their basic state pension, not the other earnings-related parts of the old system such as SERPS and S2P which are linked to inflation.
- The element that is most redundant is the 2.5 per cent minimum promise, even if earnings and prices rise by less, and yet this seems to be what the Chancellor is considering applying to next year’s pension uprating.
- State pension keeps being used as a political footballDifferent Governments have announced rises or cuts in the levels of protection offered to people on the state pension over the years.