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The Triple Lock
An explanation by Baroness Altman
As Minister for Pensions it’s important to
me that we protect the retirees of tomorrow as well as today, and we
need to ensure that everyone can work towards a good standard of living
That is why, in April 2016, the basic State Pension will once again be
increased by the Triple Lock, seeing its biggest real terms increase
since 2001 and will be over £1,100 more a year in cash terms than in
2010-11. The Triple Lock guarantees that existing pensioners will see
their basic State Pension increase by whichever is highest; earnings,
inflation or 2.5 per cent.
The 6th April 2016 is also an important date for people who reach State
Pension age in future. After this date we’re transforming the State
Pension, replacing a system that was overly complex with one that over
time will make saving for retirement much easier to understand. The
State Pension system will always provide a foundation for older
people’s pensions in this country, but many will also need additional
Many people on lower incomes are entitled to Pension Credit and perhaps
don’t even realise it. This tops up other income to £151.20 per week for
individuals and £230.85 for couples and can make a big difference to
your standard of living if you’re eligible. From April 2016 the rates
will increase to £155.60 for individuals and £237.55 for couples.
Overall, around 2.2 million pensioners claim Pension Credit but up to
1.4 million more eligible people may be missing out on up to £3 billion
of support. Older people who have worked hard all their lives, and
contributed to our society and economy over many decades, deserve this
additional support in their retirement.
During the winter we all need to ensure that we heat
our homes as much as possible. No one should find themselves in the
cold and turning down the thermostat to save money.
The Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300 each year means that
older people have the confidence to keep warm during the winter months,
knowing that they will be getting help with paying their heating bills.
In winter 2014/15, over £2 billion was paid in Winter Fuel Payments
benefitting almost 12.5 million older people in around 9 million UK
To claim is really simple, just call 03459 15 15 15 with your National
Insurance number and have your bank details to hand. Once you’ve
claimed you’ll get Winter Fuel Payments automatically every year unless
there is a change in your circumstance.
We also provide Cold Weather Payments for when it gets really cold,
when temperatures in your area are recorded as, or forecast to be, zero
degrees Celsius or below for seven consecutive days. You’ll receive
this payment, worth up to £25 for each seven day period of cold
weather, automatically too if you already receive Pension Credit or
another income support benefit. Yet another reason to check what you
can apply for.
It is vital that people take advantage of the support we can provide.
Particularly don’t be too proud to claim Pension Credit, it’s money
you’re entitled to! We have made getting Pension Credit as simple as
possible – just one free phone call to 0800 991234 can be all it takes
to find out if you’re eligible.
I’m hugely proud of what we’ve achieved so far. In tandem with the
significant transformation to our State Pension system we aim to
provide today’s and tomorrow’s pensioners with a more secure retirement.
Baroness Ros Altmann, Minister for Pensions
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