State pension alert: Rishi Sunak set to scrap triple lock as soon as next week – get ready

Sunak should 'step away' from pension triple lock says Gauke

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The State Pension triple lock has long been debated, particularly following the coronavirus crisis, which has cost the Government billions of pounds. But according to a person familiar with the matter, a decision on the triple lock is set to be made imminently. Under the system, the state pension rises each year by whichever is greatest of three key measures: average earnings growth, 2.5 percent or inflation.

However, due to wages data being warped this year, it had been predicted the state pension could rise by up to eight percent – staggering compared to previous observed increases.

This has led to questions about whether a rise to the state pension would be affordable, with some groups also calling into question the matter of intergenerational fairness, particularly given the current circumstances.

This has evidently created a dilemma for Chancellor Rishi Sunak on whether the mechanism should remain in place – a Conservative Party manifesto pledge – or ditched due to the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic. 

A person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg the Chancellor has made a decision, and is set to announce it as soon as September 7 – just days away.

It is expected Mr Sunak will suspend the triple lock for the coming year, removing the earnings element in a “double lock” system. 

This was an idea which had been floated in the past by some experts and thinktanks who posited the measure could still help pensioners while tempering down more significant increases.

Mr Sunak previously told the BBC’s Charlie Stayt, when questioned on the matter in July, that a decision would be made later in the year.

He said at the time: “What I would say is that the numbers you have mentioned are speculation at this point, and decisions happen later on. Concerns are legitimate and fair to raise.

More to follow…

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