The Triple Lock
Updated: Sep 3
The NPC General Secretary, Jan Shortt, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, to express our concerns around reports that the state pension ‘triple lock’ is under threat once again and to urge him to commit to protecting it. We would urge you to raise the issue with your MP. The letter can be found below
You can find your local MP's details on the below link.
https://members.parliament.uk/constituencies/ A copy of the letter can also be found below.
Head Office: Marchmont Community Centre, 62 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AB Tel: 020 7837 6622 Email: email@example.com Web: www.npcuk.org 24 June 2020 Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP Chancellor of the Exchequer HM Treasury 1 Horse Guards Road Westminster London, SW1A 2HQ Dear Chancellor of the Exchequer Triple Lock We are writing to express our concerns around reports that the state pension ‘triple lock’ is under threat once again and to urge you to commit to protecting it. The National Pensioners Convention is the largest campaigning organisation for older people in the UK, representing around 1.2 million pensioners. We work for the benefit of all pensioners, now and in the future. We understand the pressures upon you as Chancellor to balance the books at a time when the economy is facing recession amid the impact of a global pandemic. However, there are several issues we would like you to bear in mind whilst you are considering your course of action:
All generations deserve a decent state pension in retirement. Currently the UK state pension is the least adequate in the economically developed world with a replacement rate of just 29%. Today’s younger generations will increasingly come to rely on the state pension as one of their main sources of income in their future retirement.
The gender pension gap is bigger than the gender pay gap.
There are currently 1.9 million pensioners living in poverty which is now rising after a period of stability.In addition, around 50,000 (perhaps more) pensioners above the threshold for pension credit will be pushed into poverty due to the removal of the free TV licence agreement. Life expectancy is falling too.
The average earnings (as of April 2020) are £26,156 pa, compared with a basic state pension of just £6,981 (pre-April 2016); £9,110.40 (post-April 2016). There is an inequality between the schemes with the old scheme having only the basic element triple locked, whereas the whole of the new scheme receives the triple lock. Therefore, the oldest, most vulnerable pensioners have the least income and the gap widens every year.
The use of percentage increases creates an inaccurate picture of how much money people actually receive. For example, a 2.5% increase on £6,981 is obviously considerably less in monetary terms than the same increase on £26,156. For example, in April 2019 the basic state pension increased by 2.6%. This meant a full basic state pension (pre-April 2016) rose by £3.25 a week to £129.20 for a single person and by £5.20 a week to £206.65 for a couple (where a wife relies on her husband’s contribution record). For millions of women this actually means an increase of just £1.95 a week on their state pension.
Nearly half of all pensioners do not pay income tax. The triple lock was designed to bring the poorest section of our community out of poverty, there is a long way to go. Many pensioners contribute a vast amount to our society in unpaid voluntary work and caring for grandchildren and older relatives. They are an extremely valuable resource, the last thing they need is a cut in their income.
Scrapping the triple lock will cause hardship now and to future generations of pensioners who are our children, grandchildren and in lots of cases, great grandchildren.We wish to preserve and indeed build on the current state pension schemes so that everyone can have a comfortable retirement. We would much appreciate an opportunity to engage with you to take an overall view on a way forward from the difficulties the pandemic has created.If this is an invitation you wish to take up, please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org as our office is still closed and our staff are working from home. Yours sincerely, Jan Shortt General Secretary c.c. Dr. Térèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions Anneliese Dodds, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions Jack Dromey, Shadow Minister Work & Pensions (Pensions)