Triple lock state pension hope: Future of pledge may be secure for longer than anticipated

Jeremy Hunt walking

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is looking to secure the future of the triple lock

Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 24/09/2023

- 11:01

The Pensions Secretary had previously hinted the Government may scrap the pledge

The state pension triple lock will remain in place beyond the next election if the Conservative Party wins, plans being drawn up by Downing Street indicate.

For months there has been concern that the Government is getting ready to scrap the policy due to spiralling costs.

The triple lock guarantees that pensions will rise each year by inflation, average earnings, or 2.5 per cent.

High inflation since the outbreak of the Ukraine war has led to huge increases in the old age benefit being paid out by the Treasury.

WATCH: State pension's mega rise in 2024

Earlier this month it was confirmed that the state pension for 2024-25 will rise again by 8.5 per cent.

It means those on the full-rate state pension will see payments increase to £221.20 a week next year with the annual payout reaching £11,501.

Officials in the Treasury had been eager to persuade politicians to scrap the triple lock going forwards due to the extraordinary cost.

However, they are thought to have now been overruled by Downing Street.

A source told the Mail on Sunday: "The rise in wages and inflation has made it a very expensive measure, but the political cost of abolishing it would be higher. Suicidal."

Ministers have previously refused to guarantee its continuation beyond the election as inflation and earnings have spiralled, with Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride warning it was “not sustainable” in the long-term.

Earlier this month, Stride said: In the very, very, long-term, if you have an arrangement like the triple lock that keeps ratcheting up pensions by the highest of three different metrics - it seems to me that it does become unsustainable in the long-term.

"But we're not in the very long-term, we're in today. We have a commitment to it."


Mel Stride

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride hinted at scrapping the triple lock


Each percentage point rise in the state pension adds an extra £900million in cost for the Treasury.

Ministers' decision to draw up plans to stick by the triple lock commitment comes as Rishi Sunak looks to make a number of popular pledges to try and reduce the gap in the polls with Labour ahead of the next election.

The Prime Minister has been tipped to be planning to overhaul inheritance tax in order to help win over voters as well as scrapping the Birmingham to Manchester leg of HS2.

Earlier this week he also delayed a number of net zero pledges saying that he would not want climate change policies to impose additional costs on UK households.

Responding to the claims the triple lock could remain in place after a Conservative election victory, a Government spokesman said: "We are committed to the triple lock.

"As is the usual process, the Secretary of State [for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride] will conduct his statutory annual review of benefits and state pensions in the autumn, using the most recent data available, and we won't pre-empt that.

"We don't comment on speculation around future manifesto commitments."

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