Portsmouth MP’s concern as report warns 700,000 more pensioners risk poverty

Getting rid of the lock will reduce pension pots for the poorest and the young, say TUC, Age UK and Centre for Ageing Better.

Stephen Morgan MP has called for the Government to protect the triple lock for state pensions after a new report warned the number of pensioners living in poverty in 2050 could be 700,000 higher if it is scrapped.

Approximately one third of pensioners in Portsmouth rely on the state pension.

The research – carried out by the Pensions Policy Institute – estimates that getting rid of the triple lock could lead to nearly 3.5 million older people facing poverty in 2050, compared to 2.8 million if it remains in place.

The report says that scrapping the triple lock would force low earners to put an extra £540 a year into their pension to avoid hardship in retirement.

Young people would bear the brunt of this change. Getting rid of the triple lock would double the amount a low-paid young worker needs to save to avoid poverty in old age.

Women would also be hard hit. They currently account for nearly two-thirds of those in poverty over the age 65. The weekly retirement income of a low-paid woman would drop by 7%, on average, if the triple lock was abolished.

The report also reveals:

• Getting rid of the triple lock would reduce the income of a mid-earner pensioner by £1,000 (5%) a year.

• Reduce the income of the poorest pensioners by £800 (7%) a year.

The triple lock guarantees that the basic state pension will rise annually by either a minimum of 2.5%, the rate of inflation, or average earnings growth – whichever one of the three is the largest.

MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented:

The financial security of our city’s pensioners is an absolute priority for me. That’s why I’m calling for the Government to guarantee the triple lock beyond this Parliament and ensure the dignity of older people in Portsmouth.

This report should act as a wake-up call for the Tories. Pensioner poverty is already too high, and particularly concerning to me is the disproportionate impact pension inequality has on women, who shockingly account for nearly two-thirds of those in poverty over the age of 65.

As MP, I’ll continue to fight for economic justice for our city’s elderly.’

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

‘The UK already has the least generous state pension in the developed world. Getting rid of the triple lock would increase pensioner poverty and hit the poorest hardest.

“Today’s report shows that scrapping the lock will hurt young and old alike. A race to the bottom on pensions helps no-one.’

Age UK’s Charity Director Caroline Abrahams added:

‘Many people are surprised to learn that the average state pension is only just over £7,000 per year – less than half the annual salary of a full time working adult on the minimum wage of £7.50 an hour. Yet millions of older people are heavily reliant on this relatively modest sum, a situation that is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

“Considering the UK’s high poverty levels, the triple lock looks to be an increasingly important mechanism to provide a degree of financial security for current and future generations of older people.’