It is the policy of the CWU, developed through the Retired Members Committee the Retired Members Conference and CWU General Conference to support and campaign for the retention of what is called the Triple Lock on the state pension.
The Triple Lock is the mechanism that guarantees the state pension will not lose its value in real terms, and that it would increase at least in line with inflation. In order to make this guarantee secure, it includes three separate measures of inflation and this is where the term “triple lock” comes from. The way it operates in practice is that each year the state pension would increase by the greatest of the following three measures:
- Average earnings
- Prices, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
- 2.5 per cent
This is extremely important for pensioners, as it guarantees that the state pension increases over time thus preserving its value in real terms against price increases. As we know retirement can be a period of 25 years or even more, and over such a length of time prices can increase dramatically. For example, 25 years ago a litre of petrol cost only around 50 pence. Having this guarantee then is extremely important and especially so when you consider the low size of the UK state pension (only £9,110.40 a year in 2020/21).
There has been an increasing amount of speculation recently on the future of the triple lock. This has arisen, seemingly, over a debate around how “the country” as it’s being termed, is going to pay for the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Various reports in the media have clearly suggested that the Government would or is considering ending the use of the triple lock mechanism.
It has been widely reported in the press and media that despite the Conservative Manifesto pledging its continuation and also recent pronouncements by the Prime Minster to the same the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak is now actively considering removing the triple lock protection.
Cleary this is a move we would oppose and we will be raising this with the Labour Party as part of our political campaigning work.
However, the pensioner vote in UK elections is a sizeable constituency and we would like as many of our members, retired or otherwise to write to their MP asking them to defend the triple lock.
Below is a draft template letter that we would ask Branches and all members to send to their MP, whatever political party they belong to, to seek their support to defending the triple lock.
We cannot allow the government to begin to make vulnerable sections of our society pay what would be a heavy price as they look to address failings in the economy.