A growing consensus is forming among ministers over scrapping the pensions triple lock after the next general election.
The government committed to maintaining the pledge through this parliament by the 2015 Conservative manifesto.
However, chancellor Philip Hammond announced that it would be among the priorities reviewed ahead of the next general election, and now ministers are aligning in favour of scrapping the offer.
Introduced in 2010, the triple lock guarantees pensioners an annual increase in state payout in line with inflation, wages or 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest.
But one of the brains behind the promise, the former Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb, has told City A.M. it is increasingly likely to be axed.
“There is a growing consensus,” Webb, now policy director at Royal London, said. “But a consensus is not always well-informed. The triple lock costs almost nothing if inflation starts to pick up a bit, and in that case getting rid of it would save next to nothing.”
Previously, the state pension was uprated by the higher of inflation or 2.5 per cent.
It comes after the Sunday Times reported an informal agreement among ministers to scrap the offer over cost concerns. The Government Actuary's Department has stated the policy cost £6bn last year.
Labour last week promised to maintain the triple lock until at least 2025.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “The triple lock has protected the incomes of millions of pensioners and we are committed to it for the duration of this Parliament.”
The end of the Triple Lock could impact women in particular, with pensions giant Aegon warning their pensions pots are almost a third of the savings of male peers.
Aegon found that men have, on average, £73,600 saved in pensions compared to £24,900 for women.