Thousands of pensioners in the South East to benefit from Lib Dem manifesto pledge

Pensioners would be guaranteed to earn at least an extra £790 per year by the end of the next parliament under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans, Pensions Minister Steve Webb has announced.

These changes mean the state pension will be worth at least £131-a-week by 2020, up from just £97.65 four years ago and is expected to benefit nearly 1.5 million pensioners in the South East.

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Thanks to the Liberal Democrats' triple lock guarantee, the basic state pension has risen in each year of the last parliament by whichever is the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%. The triple lock was a key demand from the Liberal Democrats in Coalition negotiations.

This means the state pension is £440 higher per year in 2014-15 than if it had increased in line with earnings from the start of this Parliament, and £800 a year more in total.

Pensioners who receive the full state pension would get at least £6,800 in 2020. But, based on current assumptions, the actual level of the state pension is likely to be even higher, at £139.95 per week - or £7,277 per year.

Only the Liberal Democrats are committed to write this guarantee into law, giving pensioners more certainty that their pension will continue to rise in the future.

 

Announcing the plan, Pensions Minister Steve Webb, said: "A decent income in retirement for pensioners is central to the Liberal Democrat vision of a fair society.

"For decades, successive Labour and Conservative governments allowed the state pension to decline after Mrs. Thatcher broke the 'earnings link' in 1980. Our manifesto promise of a 'triple lock' has been implemented every year since 2010 and means that the state pension is already a higher share of the national average wage than at any time since the early 1990s.

"But if we are serious about having a decent state pension we need to go further. That is why the Liberal Democrats will guarantee in law that in each year pensions will rise by the highest of wages, prices or 2.5%."

South East MEP, Catherine Bearder, added: "This is fantastic news for those 1.5 million pensioners in the South East who benefit from the triple lock and will continue to do so into the future."

"I'm proud to be part of the only party committed to safeguarding the future for all pensioners. Getting this written into law will ensure pensioners really can plan ahead with certainty."