State pension fury as millions are barred from full £679 triple lock boost | Personal Finance | Finance

Calculations by the suggest that pensioners will get the inflation-busting increase in April next year. The hike is due to the state pension triple lock, which new PM Keir Starmer has pledged to protect for the lifetime of the next Parliament.

Under the triple lock, the state pension increases each year either by earnings, inflation or 2.5 percent, whichever is highest.

In 2023, it handed pensioners a bumper 10.1 percent increase, based on the inflation figure for September 2022.

This April, pensioners got a generous 8.3 percent, based on average wage growth between May and July 2023.

With inflation falling back to two per cent, next year’s increase will almost certainly rely on this summer’s earnings figures.

Wages look set to by around 5.9 percent, latest estimates suggest.

The new state pension currently pays £11,502 a year to pensioners who qualify for the maximum amount after making 35 years of national insurance (NI) contributions.

If it gets a 5.9 percent uplift next year, it will rise to £12,181. This would give pensioners an extra £679 a year.

Yet there’s a catch. Most won’t get it due to a long-standing quirk in the state pension system that has some older pensioners seething.

There are two state pensions. The new state pension was introduced for those retiring from April 6, 2016. Older retirees continue to get its predecessor, known as the basic state pension.

The new state pension was supposed to simplify the system but has created more confusion, as the old basic state pension appears to pay much less.

Currently, it pays a maximum of just £8,814 a year. That’s a staggering £2,688 below the full new state pension.

More than eight million get the old basic state pension. Less than four million get the new one.

The triple lock applies to the basic state pension, too. Next year’s potential 5.9 percent uplift will be worth just £520 to older pensioners, because it’s based on a lower starting amount.

It will lift the basic state pension to £9,334 a year.

The gap will between the two will have widened again, this time to £2,847 a year. And it will continue to widen, year after year.

Many Express readers have reacted with fury at claims that will get a £679 pay rise when in practice they’ll get much less.

Reader Skipper complained on this site that “those of us languishing on the old state pension will… get at least 20% less”.

He was backed by PaulM666 who said: “Older pensioners get screwed every year.”

Reader WR2 called on the government to “fix the injustice of having the old pension inflicted on us”.

While pdelof was furious that older pensioners get so much less. “Why? Our bills are the same.”

Having paid NI contributions for 47 years, pdelof thought this was unfair.

Yet other readers pointed out that many on the basic state pension actually get more income.

That’s because they also qualified for additional state pension such as the State Second Pension (S2P) and state earnings-related pension scheme (Serps), paid on top.

The Department for Work and Pensions has previously stated that “the vast majority of pensioners who receive the basic state pension also get additional income from either an occupational or private pension, if they were contracted out, or the additional state pension. In many cases, they will get a combination of the two.”

Additional state pension was based on earnings, so men did better than women out of the basic state pension, while women often got a pittance.

The new state pension is fairer to women.

But it does leave some older pensioners getting a much smaller income than they would have got on the new state pension.

Worse, the gap widens every year.

Understandably, they’re not happy about it. Especially after paying NI for decades. Unfortunately, the system is unlikely to change.

Terrified about the upcoming Labour tax raid? Here are five things you must do now.

Source link