Autumn Statement: Triple-lock on pensions could face the axe

Baroness Altmann
Baroness Altmann
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The triple lock safeguard on state pensions could be under threat after 2020, it has been suggested.

The mechanism guarantees that the state pension rises by a certain level - which means it increases annually by the highest of average wages, inflation, or 2.5 per cent.

But pension experts said Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement gave a signal it may not be safe in the longer term.

Mr Hammond said: “We will meet our pledge to our country’s pensioners through the triple lock.

“But as we look ahead to the next Parliament, we will need to ensure we tackle the challenges of rising longevity and fiscal sustainability. And so the Government will review public spending priorities and other commitments for the next Parliament in light of the evolving fiscal position at the next Spending Review.”

Baroness Altmann, a former pensions minister, said: “The Chancellor’s speech signalled pretty clearly that the state pension triple lock is only safe until 2020.”

She continued: “I would like to see a double lock announced, whereby state pensions would rise in line with either earnings or prices.”

A recent MPs’ report described the triple lock as “inherently unsustainable”.