Centre for Ageing Better
20 Feb 2020
Our Chief Executive, Dr Anna Dixon, says we should be asking questions about how we build a fairer society as we emerge from this crisis rather than penalising those saving for their pensions.
“We rightly need to look at how society can pay for the additional costs of coronavirus to the NHS and financially support those who have lost their jobs and livelihoods. But we must pause to think before making knee-jerk changes to our state pension. We already have one of the lowest state pensions relative to earnings in the OECD, and today 1.3 million pensioners in Britain are living below the poverty line. For the many people who rely on the state pension, even small changes could have a devastating impact.
“Proposals to ditch the triple lock are often made in the name of ‘intergenerational fairness’ – but in reality it’s both the poorest and the young who would be hit hardest by its removal. Research shows that getting rid of the triple lock would lead to 700,000 more people in poverty by 2050 and would double the amount a low-paid young worker needs to save to avoid poverty in old age.
“We should be asking questions about how we build a fairer society as we emerge from this crisis. That means finding ways to provide financial support to workers at all ages without harming those for whom the already-meagre state pension is a lifeline.”
Social Market Foundation's report, Intergenerational fairness in the coronavirus economy, can be read here.