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Steve Webb: Pensions triple lock not guaranteed past next election


Pensions minister Steve Webb says the triple lock on state pension increases can not be guaranteed past the next general election.

In an interview with the FT, Webb said the Liberal Democrats have not yet decided its policies for the 2015 election manifesto and would not commit to the triple lock. 

The Conservatives also told the FT that the party could not guarantee to keep the triple lock after 2015 at this time.

The triple lock was introduced by the coalition Government in 2010 and means the state pension increases in line with the higher of earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest.

The state pension reform bill, debated in the House of Commons today, only provides for the state pension to increase in line with earnings.

Webb said: “My view is it should be triple lock; to be absolutely clear, I would want to see that continue. But we, as a party, will have to thrash that one out.”

He said Liberal Democrats would target “the highest income pensioners” in its 2015 election manifesto.

Webb said: “Bear in mind that the long-term impact of the state pension reform is to save pension spending as a share of gross domestic product. For the next few decades it will be the same money, spent better but in the long term this is cheaper. We’re reducing the projected rate of growth.

“In terms of inter-generational fairness, we are starting to try and address that. We aren’t sitting back and saying our children and grandchildren shall just do more and more.”

Labour has pledged to include pensions in an overall cap on welfare spending but says it has no plans to scrap the triple lock, although it is not offering a guarantee that it will be kept.


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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Good. It was an outrageous promise to make that is completely unaffordable.

  2. A weekly fiddle with pensions seems mandatory. (Whether State or Private). No wonder no one has much faith in them.
    I know many in the Govt. are anti EU, but perhaps they do need to brush up on the French and reacquaint themselves of what Laissez Faire means.

  3. If you work out what pensioners would have been getting if the Thatcher government had not severed the link between the state pension and earnings I reckon you would find that pensioners should be getting much more than they are now. Instead of raising pensions there were gimmicks with heating bills and TV licences, then when Brown tried to get away with raising pensions by 2p per week a minimum increase was set. Endless tinkering instead of paying a proper state pension based on tax contributions when tax rates were much higher and personal allowances much smaller.

  4. Therin lies the problem with any form of pension planning given that the state is involved……just how much can you rely on a politcal promise……..???

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