Almost half of Brits back state pension triple lock; generational divide evident

Nearly half (46 per cent) of UK adults agree that the government should maintain the triple lock promise and raise the state pension by whichever measurement is higher, although this view was much more prominent amongst over-50s, according to research from Canada Life.

The survey revealed that around six in 10 (59 per cent) over-50s were supportive of maintaining the triple lock, compared to 34 per cent of those under 50.

Canada Life also suggested that women are perhaps more likely to see both sides of the argument, as it found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of women said they did not know whether the triple lock should be maintained, compared to 9 per cent of men.

Industry experts have previously raised concerns over the impact of the pandemic and furlough scheme on the triple lock in light of earnings growth data, with the latest figures placing further pressure on the government to make a decision about the triple lock.

This prompted rumours of a potential 'double lock' earlier this year, which would remove average year-on-year earnings growth from the equation, and instead lead to an increase in line with inflation or 2.5 per cent.

However, Canada Life's survey found that only 16 per cent of savers supported this idea of a less generous double lock, while even fewer (14 per cent) supported the idea of finding a compromise to use a lower earnings figure with the furlough impact stripped out.

In addition to this, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of savers stated that they were unsure or uninterested in the decision.

Canada Life technical director, Andrew Tully, commented: “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 per cent rise in state pension costs the taxpayer around £850m 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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