‘Hands off our pension!’ Britons hit back at state pension triple lock freeze

Sturgeon says the removal of the triple lock is 'disgraceful'

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The state pension triple lock usually increases the sum annually by whichever is the highest out of 2.5 percent, average earnings or inflation. It is designed to protect the sum for pensioners in real terms, but has been temporarily ditched this year. This is due to warped earnings data which could have seen the sum rise by a staggering eight percent.

Instead, pensioners will get an increase of 3.1 percent in the coming year. 

A Change.org petition on this matter has recently gained more signatures, following the Government’s decision to freeze the mechanism. 

It was started by Alan Betts and has been submitted to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

The petition reads: “The triple lock on our state pension is in danger of being moved to cover the cost of coronavirus help given during this time.

“Pensioners are the worst affected by this virus and have been dying in droves.

“We are also the only group not given any additional funds to help costs during this time.

“As we have also had our pensions delayed due to the extension of working years, this is not acceptable.

“Hands off our pension. Don’t make us worse off than we already are in comparison to other countries!”

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A number of people expressed their support for the petition, explaining their reasons for signing.

Bernard Gordon wrote: “This was a 100 percent pledge in the Tory manifesto.

“Keep your promises or be voted out at the next election. This is a 100 percent promise that will be kept.”

While Maria Denniss said: “It’s time to start looking after the older generation who have worked for many, many years.

“They have earned their right to their pension, instead of taking everything away from them.”

While the petition was established before the ultimate decision on the triple lock was made, it has picked up traction recently.

It is approaching the 200 signatures it requires to propel the petition to others on Change.org.

Many are keen for the Government to reverse its decision on the triple lock freeze, which is due to take effect from April.

The campaign group Age UK has warned the longevity of the triple lock is not only important for older people, but for future generations to come.

It recently stated: “We must not fall into the trap of seeing it as something that only affects current pensioners and therefore unfair to younger generations. 

“In some respects, any changes will hit the future retirement income of younger people the hardest. 

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“Research by the independent Pensions Policy Institute has shown that without the triple lock it will be harder for younger workers on low incomes to achieve an adequate income in retirement. 

“Given the adverse impact the pandemic has had on jobs, earnings, and prospects for saving into a private pension, the state pension could well become even more important for todays’ workers when they reach retirement.”

It stressed the one year triple lock suspension may be a “price worth paying” if it helps the Government’s plans for more dedication to social care.

However, pensioners are also worried that the measure is a “sneaky way for Ministers to ditch the triple lock altogether”.

This has been refuted by the Government, where it has been emphasised as a temporary action due to the pandemic.

The Government explained: “We are setting aside the average earnings measure this year because it has been distorted by falls in earnings last year and the unusual labour market effects this year, both caused by the pandemic.

“This is a one-year response to exceptional circumstances. The Government remains committed to implementing the triple lock for the remainder of the Parliament.”

The state pension has been described by the Government as the “foundation of support for older people”, with Britons on low incomes also encouraged to check their eligibility for Pension Credit. 

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