State Pension triple lock warning - 'People just won't bother!'

The State Pension triple lock will be protected by the Government, Jeremy Hunt said during Thursday's Autumn Statement

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The State Pension triple lock will continue to be protected by the Government, Jeremy Hunt confirmed during his Autumn Statement on Thursday.

Abandoning the triple lock on State Pensions would have meant the Government junking protection for vulnerable pensioners, a Conservative peer has said.

Baroness Ros Altmann told GB News: “The average income of people in work is far higher than the state pension, and millions of pensioners have little or nothing other than the state pension, which is pretty much the lowest in the developed world.

“And what I think is important to stress is that, because we pay deliberately such a very low state pension, and we know that of the current cohorts of pensioners, not enough of them ever had a chance for a private pension.

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt

In an interview with Tom Harwood on GB News, she said: “It's really important to stress that it is a political choice whether the country pays a decent increase or not, it's not a question of whether the country can afford it.

“We are one of the richest countries in the world, yet we pay one of the lowest state pensions therefore, it would be politicians choosing not to spend the money on protecting their pensioners, rather than a question of affordability.”

Asked about means testing, she said: “We tried relying on means testing already. And the result of that was a sharp rise in pensioner poverty.

"When you take away the universality of the state pension, and you rely on people having some extra savings, if they are at the margin, they can't be sure that they're going to be able to save enough.

"Also some don't bother to save at all, because they think well, if I do, I'm going to be penalised for it because only the people who didn't save are going to get this much better pension than I'll ever get."

During his Autumn Statement on Thursday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed that state pensions will rise in line with inflation
During his Autumn Statement on Thursday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed that state pensions will rise in line with inflation

“So we have a system based on National Insurance, where the fundamental promise is you pay into National Insurance or you contribute in some way to the system through your working life.

"With this the state will pay you a basic amount of money in return for that, if you've contributed for enough years.

“If you start undermining that social contract, then you take away much of the basis on which our whole system works.”

During his Autumn Statement on Thursday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed that state pensions will rise in line with inflation and that the pension credit will increase by 10.1 percent.

The Chancellor told the Commons: “To support the poorest pensioners, I have decided to increase the pension credit by 10.1 percent which is worth up to £1,470 for a couple and £960 for a single pensioner in our most vulnerable households.

“But the cost-of-living crisis is harming all pensioners so because we have taken difficult decisions elsewhere in this statement, I can today announce that we will fulfil our pledge to the country to protect the pensions triple-lock.”