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Reports and Briefing Notes

How would removal of the State Pension triple lock affect adequacy?

In 2011, the Coalition Government introduced the “triple lock” mechanism which uprates the new State Pension (nSP) and the basic State Pension (bSP) every year by the greater of the rise in earnings, the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 2.5%. There have been concerns about the sustainability of the triple lock and calls for it to be replaced, though the Government has committed to retaining the triple lock during the current Parliament. Removal of the triple lock would decrease the cost of providing State Pensions, however it would also have implications for pensioner poverty and the amount spent on other means-tested benefits such as Housing Benefit, caring credits and disability premiums.

This report was sponsored by the Centre for Ageing Better, Age UK and TUC. It explores the potential effect of changing State Pension indexation on poverty, adequacy and state spending, and examines the future outlook for State Pension policy as a whole.

Chapter one sets out historical indexation arrangements and explores their impact on the real value of State Pension income.

Chapter two looks at the role of the State Pension in providing adequacy and explores how adequacy is measured.

Chapter three explores the costs of the triple lock and how changes to indexation could affect people with different characteristics.

Chapter four analyses the impact of different indexation scenarios on State spending, pensioner poverty and adequacy.

Chapter five discusses the role of the State Pension going forward.



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