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Triple lock increase ‘wiped out’ by rising costs

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

Rising food and energy costs are wiping out the increase in the state pension for many pensioners.

Under the triple lock guarantee, the state pension will rise by 10.1% from Monday (10 April), adding nearly £19 a week to the full state pension – an extra £972 a year.

However, food prices hit a new record high in March, increasing by 17.5% and adding £837 to the average annual groceries bill.

Meanwhile, rising energy costs have added £1,223 to the average energy bill since April 2022.

This brings the total annual increase for food and energy for the average household to £2,060, more than twice the annual increase in state pension payments.

Under the pension triple lock mechanism, the basic state pension rises by the higher of average earnings, inflation or 2.5%.

It is based on the September inflation figure which was 10.1%. The uprating means the full flat-rate state pension (paid to those reaching state pension age after 6 April 2016) increases from £185.15 per week to £203.85 per week from 10 April, meaning pensioners will receive £10,600 a year.

‘Pensioners feeling apprehensive’

Andrew Tully, technical director at Canada Life, said: “Pensioners will be feeling apprehensive and worried, despite the triple lock increase adding £972 a year to those fortunate enough to receive the full state pension. Even a household where a couple both receive the full state pension will see the triple lock increase wiped out by the price rises we are experiencing.

“It’s also worth remembering many pensioners don’t receive the full state pension and those who claimed their state pension before April 2016 under the old system will receive less – around an extra £14 week, or £746 per year.

“This is a difficult time for many but especially those households on fixed-incomes, typically pensioners. Ensure you or your relative is claiming all of the financial support to which you or they are entitled, for example pension credit. Reach out to the charitable organisations who help to support the older and more vulnerable, and as relatives or neighbours of the elderly, keep an eye out for them and help where you can.”