The government has confirmed it will scrap the pensions triple lock from 2022 to 2023.
The pensions promise guarantees that the state pension will increase in line with inflation, earnings or 2.5%, whichever is higher.
But Therese Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, announced the one-year change in the state pension in the Commons on Tuesday afternoon.
“Tomorrow, I will introduce a Social Security Uprating and Benefits Bill for 2022-23 only,” she said.
“It will ensure the basic and new state pensions increase by 2.5% or in line with inflation which is expected to be the higher figure this year and as happened last year it will again set aside the earnings element for 2022-23 before being restored for the remainder of this parliament.”
Coffey said the triple lock was being temporarily ditched because of the impact of the Covid pandemic on jobs and earnings.
Distortions to wages during the coronavirus crisis would have meant pensioners would have received a rise of as much as 8% – an extra £3bn – while many workers have been dealing with job losses, salary cuts and pay freezes in the tough economy.
“As we have sought to protect lives, so we sought to protect livelihoods and to mitigate the worst impacts we introduced £407bn package of support including the furlough and self-employment schemes to support incomes,” Coffey said.
“Nevertheless last year we saw earnings fall by one percentage point. In response we legislated to set aside the earnings link allowing me to award an uprating of 2.5% as this was higher than inflation. If we had not done this state pension would have been frozen.”
She later added: “This year as restrictions have lifted – and we experienced an irregular statistical spike in earnings over the uprating review period – I am clear that another one-year adjustment is needed.”