46% of UK adults support pension triple lock promise

Forty-six per cent of UK adults believe the state pension triple lock should stay as it is, new research from Canada Life has revealed.

This is despite the earnings figure linked to any increase predicted to be around 8% this year.

The triple lock currently guarantees that the state pension will rise by whichever is highest out of inflation, earnings or 2.5%. Canada Life suggested the impact of many people rejoining the workforce after furlough is largely believed to be the cause of the higher earnings growth.

Over-50s are much more likely to want to keep the triple lock promise, the research found, with almost six in 10 (59%) supportive of maintaining it compared to around a third (34%) of those under 50.

Only 16% of respondents supported a move to a less generous ‘double lock’, which would lead to an increase in line with inflation or 2.5%. Even fewer people (14%) supported the idea of finding a compromise to use a lower earnings figure with the furlough impact stripped out.

Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents said they were unsure or uninterested in the decision.

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