Half of Brits back pension triple lock pledge

But 16% believe the UK government should move to a ‘double lock’ model

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Almost half (46%) of adults in the UK want the pensions triple lock to stay, according to research by Canada Life.

This is despite the predicted 8% increase for the next financial year.

The triple lock sets out that state pension should increase each year by whichever is highest between inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%.

Unsurprisingly, the move was more popular among people over 50 (59%), compared to just a third (344) of Brits under 50.

Women were also more likely to remain neutral (27%) compared to men (9%).

Only 16% of respondents said they would support a less generous ‘double lock’ system which would uprate pensions by either inflation or 2.5%.

Even fewer respondents (14%) backed the idea of using a lower earnings figure to mitigate the impact furlough had on earnings growth this year.

Surprisingly, nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) said they were either not sure or not interested in the decision.

‘Difficult path’

The survey follows media reports in July about chancellor Rishi Sunak canvassing Conservative members of parliament to see whether they would support a temporary suspension of the triple lock system.

Andrew Tully, technical director at Canada Life, said: “Maintaining the triple lock has long been a manifesto promise.

“However, no one could have predicted the 18 months we’ve just experienced with the effect of millions of people being placed on furlough, artificially boosting the earnings data as they return to work.

“The government has a difficult path to navigate, to ensure the state pension remains affordable in what is a difficult time for the nation’s finances, while also bearing in mind it’s manifesto commitments.

“It’s important to remember that each 1% rise in state pension costs the taxpayer around £850m ($1.2bn, €1bn) a year.

“One option could be to strip out the artificial earnings growth from the data, making it more representative of the real underlying growth in earnings. The state pension would increase by a material amount, hopefully seen as fair in these exceptional circumstances, and making sure manifesto pledges are met.”

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