What is the triple lock pension?

THE triple lock on pensions means pensioners are guaranteed a pay rise every year.

But how does it work and what does it mean for your pension?

What is the Triple Lock?


What is the Triple Lock?Credit: Getty

What is the triple lock?

The triple lock is a calculation used to determine how much the state pension rises by each year.

It was introduced by the coalition government in 2010 and sees pension payments increase in line with whichever of the following is highest:

  • Earnings – the average percentage growth in wages in Great Britain
  • Prices – the rising cost of living in the UK, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
  • 2.5%
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The triple lock means the pension payments will rise in 2023 by whichever is highest: earnings, inflation or 2.5%.

It was temporarily halted in April 2022 for a “double lock” and the wage element was withdrawn.

That meant the maximum new state pension amount went from £179.60 to £185.15 per week based on an inflation rate of 3.1% for the previous September.

In 2022, the maximum basic state pension, which is for those with a National Insurance record pre-April 2016, rose from £137.60 to £141.85 a week.

The new state pension is for those who build up National Insurance contributions (NICs) after April 2016.

At least ten years worth of NICs is needed to get the new state pension, while 35 years are needed to qualify for the full amount.

You need at least 30 qualifying national insurance years to get the basic state pension.

Is the triple lock being scrapped?

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss said that the triple lock will be protected.

And today (November 17), Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed that it would stay.

This means millions of pensioners will not be left worse off, receiving an £870 rise in state pension payments.

Mr Hunt said: “I can today announce that we will fulfil our pledge to the country to protect the pensions Triple Lock.”

He added: “To the millions of pensioners who will benefit from this measure I say – now and always, this government is on your side.”

The announcement will be helpful for pensioners feeling the squeeze as the cost of living rises.

Jeremy Hunt also announced in his Autumn Budget:

How much is the current state pension?

The current weekly full new state pension is worth £185.15 a week.

But from next year, that’ll increase by 10.1% (in line with inflation), taking payments to £870 more a year.

The exact amount you get will depend on your National Insurance (NI) record.

Usually, you need to have had 10 qualifying years on your record to get any state pension.

If you don’t have a NI record from before April 6, 2016, you will need to have had 35 qualifying years to get the new full state pension.

You also need to be a certain age.

If you are a man, you need to have been born on or after April 6, 1951 and if you are a woman you have to have been born on or after April 6, 1953.

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If you reached state pension age before April 6, 2016, though, different rules will apply.

For more information, you should visit the government’s website.


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