Campaigners have warned a “nasty” campaign to scupper the state pension triple-lock promise is under way, after economists said it was unsustainable. A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says guaranteeing a decent annual rise will take an ever-increasing amount of our national income.
The triple-lock promises state pensions will rise by at least the rate of inflation, earnings growth, or 2.5 per cent every year.
But the IFS report said: “This policy is not sustainable (it implies pensions becoming an ever-increasing share of national income), and it is possible that the population currently of working age will not all end up benefiting in full from the same generosity .”
Activists fear it signals a reform push before the general election.
Life peer George Foulkes, who co-chairs Parliament’s aging and older people group, said: “There appears to be a new co-ordinated campaign to undermine the triple-lock.
“It pretends to be in support of poor families, but is fueling an inter-generational battle. The poorest pensioners would sink further into poverty if this nasty campaign succeeds.”
Dennis Reed, of the Silver Voices charity, called the IFS report mischievous and wrong, saying: “Older people have paid in all of their working lives and there is plenty of money in the National Insurance fund to cover the cost. Young people will benefit when they retire as well.”
Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, said: “It would be wonderful if there was no longer any need for a triple-lock. On average the state pension is still only worth about £10,000 a year, one of the lowest in the developed world.”
MPs have raised concerns about reports that the Government is planning to raise the state pension age.
People born in the 1970s and later may be told they must work for longer – with the retirement age lifted to 68 in the 2030s.