State Pension triple lock suspended - what does this mean for pensioners?


On 2 November, the House of Lords voted on an amendment to the Social Security Bill to keep the earnings link of the ‘triple lock’ in place next year. The earnings element of the ‘triple lock’ had been suspended by the government for 2022-23 following a higher rise in wage inflation due to the pandemic. However, when brought back to the House of Commons MPs rejected the move by 300 votes to 229.

The triple lock ensured that state pension benefits rise by the highest measure of price inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%.  Linking it to earnings growth could therefore have seen a rise of 8%. As a result of the suspension of the triple lock the State Pension will rise by 3.1% per cent next April. Interestingly the inflation rate is already forecast to average 4% next year, so how will this lower increase in the State Pension from April affect your finances and standard of living?

Of course, there is the real danger that the triple lock could now further be diluted depending on the state of the country’s finances in the future. If this was to happen the value of the State Pension could be eroded further as a result. It is, therefore, more important than ever to have control of your retirement by planning as early as possible and to keep it under review as you move through different life stages. As someone moves into their 50s for example, at this age, retirement is no longer a distant concept and time is short if your plans aren’t on track.

However, the value of the State Pension should not be overlooked as this forms a critical part of a retirement income for nearly all retired households. For those entitled to the full State Pension, you currently receive a sum of £179.60 a week, or just over £9,339 a year. For a retired couple, two State Pensions would therefore provide the household with over £18,678 of risk-free income each year. The full flat rate will rise in April by £5.55 to £185.15 per week, or around £9,630 a year.

For many, this will allow them to cover a good proportion of their expenditure, with any additional income requirements usually being generated from personal pensions, investments or maybe from a rental property.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, in their Retirement Living Standards research, found that for a couple to retire on a “Moderate” standard of living (outside of London), a household income of £30,600 a year would be needed. For a single person, or for someone who may have been widowed, this sum is £20,800 a year.

For many people, the State Pension will form the backbone of their retirement plans but if the value of the State Pension is eroded then it is vital you have prepared in other ways such as contributing to a personal pension to build up a retirement fund. By arranging a full financial plan, that is regularly reviewed, you can be then assured that you are more likely to have the type of retirement you want to enjoy.

Read more about pensions and retirement planning. 

At Armstrong Watson our quest is to help our clients achieve prosperity, a secure future and peace of mind, we work with you to help build your retirement plans with regular reviews so you can remain on track and enjoy your later years.

To make a plan to help achieve your retirement goals please get in touch with our financial planning team.

Contact us

Related news

Changes to the Normal Minimum Pension age – could this affect you if changes are introduced?

  • 19th November 2021

Social care funding reform - how will the changes affect you?

  • 10th November 2021
Signpost with 3 options

What are your Retirement Options?

  • 10th November 2021