Money Wellness
Image of a pensioner walking with a frame. Labour confirms commitment to the triple lock. Find out what the triple lock is
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calendar icon29 Apr 2024

Labour confirms commitment to the triple lock

Labour leader Kier Starmer has committed to maintaining the pension triple lock for at least the next five years, should his party get into power in the next general election.

Writing in the Daily Express, Starmer said that pensioners ‘needed certainty’ so he would commit to keeping the triple lock policy.

He said: “Britain’s pensioners deserve better. They deserve certainty, and for politicians to be straight with them so they can plan their lives. That’s why I’m guaranteeing the pensions triple lock will be in the Labour manifesto and protected for the duration of the next parliament.”

The pension triple lock makes sure people’s pensions are not impacted by rises in living costs and inflation over time.

Under the policy, pensioners see their state pension payments increase each April either at the rate of inflation, average earnings, or 2.5% - depending on whatever is highest at the time it’s decided.

The policy was introduced by the Conservation-Liberal Democrate coalition government in 2011 to stop low-income pensioners from falling into poverty.

Support for older voters looks likely to be a key battleground for both the Conservatives and Labour when the general election is called.

A date for the general election is yet to be set. But Rishi Sunak has said he expects to take the country to the polls in the second half of 2024.

What’s the state pension?

The state pension is a regular payment from the government that most people claim in later life. Men and women are currently entitled to the state pension at the age of 66, but this is scheduled to rise.

State pension comes in two tiers – the basic state pension and new state pension.  

Anyone who turned 66 on or after 6 April will receive the new state pension. Anyone born before this time will be on the basic pension.

 

In the current financial year (2024/25) pension payments are paid at:

  • £169.50 a week for the basic pension or £8,814 per year
  • £221.20 per week for the new state pension or £11,502 per year

How does the triple lock affect the state pension?

Under the triple lock, the state pension increases each April. The amount the state pension rises is determined by one of the following three measures depending on what is highest at the time:

  • Inflation based on September’s Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • The average increase in wage growth between May and July, or
  • 2.5%

What does the triple lock mean for pensioners?

Pensioners would be worse off if their income remained the same while living costs increased.

The triple lock guarantees that this does not happen.

What other financial support is available to help pensioners with the cost of living?

If you claim the state pension and are on a low income, you might also be entitled to pension credit.

Pension credit provides extra money to help with living costs. It is separate from the state pension and can be claimed even if you have other income, savings or own your own home.

Up to £1.7 billion of available pension credit went unclaimed last year, amounting to around £1,900 per year for each eligible household who didn’t claim it.

Claiming pension credit – however small the award – can open the door to lots more support too, including:

  • Housing benefit (for renters)
  • Mortgage interest support (for homeowners)
  • Council tax discount
  • Free TV licence (for the over 75s)
  • Money toward NHS dental treatment, glasses, and transport costs for hospital appointments
  • Warm Home Discount support
  • A discount on the Royal Mail redirection service for those moving house

How much is pension credit worth?

Known as guarantee credit, pension credit tops up:

  • A single person’s weekly pension by £218.15, or
  • A couple’s weekly pension by £332.95

There might be more support available for those with additional responsibilities and costs.

How do I apply for pension credit?

Use our free benefits calculator to see if you’re missing out on support you’re entitled to.

Or you can apply for pension credit online here

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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