State pensions – a fight for all generations

Union Matters

Wednesday 24th June 2020

CWU veteran Norman Candy is encouraging all CWU members to take up the union’s challenge to write to their MPs in defence of the pensions ‘triple lock’, which could be in jeopardy.

“I’m glad our national leadership have launched this call,” said Norman, “and it’s important to remember that this is a vital issue for all workers – not just those of us who are already retired.”

Our general secretary Dave Ward and senior deputy general secretary Tony Kearns sent out a joint letter to all branches yesterday alerting them to advice recently received by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to make savings by ending this protection for state pensions.

Introduced 10 years ago, the ‘triple lock’ guarantees that pensioners receive annual increases of at least 2.5 per cent, but that the rise can be greater if either average earnings or consumer prices go up by a higher percentage.

After many years of campaigning – led by the National Pensioners Convention and supported by trade unions, the Labour Party and many other organisations – this 2010 measure provided a basic retirement security for our nation’s elderly.

“But with the government looking to make savings as we start to come out of the Covid-19 lockdown, it’s extremely worrying that this vital protection seems to be in their sights,” says Norman.

“And the really important thing to remember is that, if this goes, it will have a far greater impact on the pensioners of tomorrow than on the pensioners of today – because of the triple lock’s cumulative effect.”

Norman has written detailed articles on this issue for the CWU Retired Members section of our website and he is determined to alert the whole union to the importance of defending this pension protection.

“When people attack the triple lock, they sometimes portray this as a generational divide – implying that the older generation are being selfish in defending this at the expense of the younger generation.

“But please don’t be fooled – whatever age you are now, you will get older and, when you do, you’ll need the best possible pension so you can live your later years in security.

“This is a fight for today, but most importantly, it’s a fight for everyone’s future.”

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