Tuesday 28 February 2017 11:03 am

Pensions triple lock: Labour calls for government to preserve payment structure beyond 2020

Labour will today demand that the government guarantees the pensions triple lock beyond 2020.

In a speech on intergenerational fairness, Debbie Abrahams, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, will say the current commitments by the Conservative government are not enough.

The triple lock increases state pension payments annually by either inflation, average earnings growth or 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest.

The Conservative manifesto has pledged triple lock will remain in place for the duration of this parliament.

Read more: Crabb joins the push against the "triple lock" on state pensions

“It was shocking to hear the chancellor suggest that he would expose older people to the flawed austerity agenda – further proof that the Tories are abandoning older people," said Abrahams.

Yesterday, MPs warned the state pension age may need to rise beyond the life expectancy of some of the UK's poorest places so that the triple lock can be maintained.

Parliament's Work and Pensions Committee undertook a report with the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It estimated how much the state pension age would need to increase in order to counterbalance expected increases to payments under the so-called triple lock system.

It concluded the state pension age would need to rise to 70.5 years by 2060.

Read more: MPs: Keeping the pensions triple lock means no one will retire until age 70

But Abrahams said: “The last Labour government were responsible for a historic reduction in pensioner poverty levels. A record that we remain hugely proud of.

“The Chancellor must use this Budget to provide clarity on the issue of the triple lock, and follow Labour’s lead by committing to the policy beyond 2020.”

However, Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field concluded yesterday:

By 2020 the state pension will be at a level where it will provide a decent minimum income for people in retirement to underpin private saving, and any savings they have will be kept on top of, not clawed back from, the state pension.

The triple lock will have done its job and it will be time therefore to retire it.