My pension is made up of basic, pension and scale parts AOW. In April 2022, it was increased in its entirety by 3.1 percent.
Following the Autumn Statement, we are told that the basic pension (I am on the old, lower pension) will increase with an inflation rate of 10.1 percent, but it is not clear whether the other elements will be included in the increase.
Do you have the answer to this?
Inflation Worries: My state pension consists of basic, serps and graduated – are they all going up 10.1% in April?
My other question concerns the £300 one-off payment to retired households. Is this in addition to the normal Winter Fuel Payment, or will it replace it?
I am over 80 so this year I will be getting £600 which will be very welcome. Again, we need to think about what is not being said!
SCROLL DOWN TO FIND OUT HOW TO ASK STEVE YOUR PENSION QUESTION
Steve Webb replies: With inflation so high, it’s important to understand how far pensions will rise next April to keep up with rising prices.
In my answer I will address your specific question and also explain how other pensions are likely to increase next year.
Starting with the state pension, you mentioned that you are in the old (pre-2016) system, which means that your total pension includes several elements – most notably a ‘basic’ state pension of up to £141.85 per week and a ‘top-up’ state pension (often called Serps or State Second Pension).
Steve Webb: Find out how to ask the former Minister of Pensions about your retirement savings in the box below
The rules around upgrading these elements are different, although they all happen to be going up by the same amount this year.
The old state pension base falls under the government’s ‘triple lock’ policy. This means it must rise by the highest of inflation (in the year to September), earnings growth or a bottom of 2.5 percent.
Of these three figures, inflation was by far the largest this time, so your state pension base increases by 10.1 percent. The state’s new full basic pension will be £156.20 per week.
There is no ‘triple lock’ promise for the ‘supplementary’ AOW pension, so the rule is that it will increase each year with inflation.
This means that your supplementary amounts (Serps, AOW benefit) will also increase by 10.1 percent.
The process is slightly different for the ‘new’ AOW beneficiaries (who have reached retirement age since 6 April 2016).
The full fixed pension (currently £185.15) is covered by the triple lock pledge. This means it will increase by the full 10.1 per cent and will be £203.85 per week from April.
Anyone currently receiving more than the full flat rate will receive what is known as a “protected payment.”
This extra amount is not covered by the triple lock promise, but is simply linked to inflation. This means that it will also rise by 10.1 percent on this occasion.
As for the one off payment to all retired households for the winter fuel bill, I can confirm that the £300 is in addition to the normal Winter Fuel Payment.
In your case, as someone over the age of 80, you should therefore receive two £300 lottery tickets.
A complete list of the The new rates for pensions and allowances for 2023/24 can be found here.
For those receiving an occupational pension, the April increase will vary from plan to plan.
STEVE WEBB ANSWERS YOUR PENSION QUESTIONS
Retired civil servants generally receive a full inflation link, so they should receive a 10.1 percent increase on their company and state pensions.
For those receiving an occupational pension, the increase depends on the rules of their scheme.
In many cases, the inflation measure used in occupational pension plans is not the consumer price index (CPI) which has risen by 10.1 percent, but the retail price index (RPI) which has risen by as much as 12.6 percent.
In some schemes, the pensions increase by this full amount.
However, the rules of many occupational pension schemes set a ceiling for the amount of any pension increase.
A common limit would be 5 percent, meaning that even though inflation was double, the pension paid would only increase by 5 percent.
Unfortunately, some schemes will have less generous terms and may only pay out in accordance with the legal minimum.
The legal rules are complex, but in some cases there may be little or no increase in respect of years of service prior to 1997, allowing the oldest members to receive the smallest increases.
Pensions from employment after 1997 will increase, but much less than inflation.
For people whose pensions are now paid by the Pension Protection Fund, annual increases will lag far behind inflation.
For service from 1997, the increase is limited to 2.5 percent inflation, while for service before 1997 there is no increase at all.
Ask Steve Webb a retirement question
Former Pensions Secretary Steve Webb is This Is Money’s Agony Uncle.
He’s ready to answer your questions whether you’re still saving, retiring or juggling your finances in retirement.
Steve left the Department of Work and Pensions following the May 2015 election. He is now a partner at actuary and consultancy firm Lane Clark & Peacock.
If you would like to ask Steve a question about pensions, please email him at email@example.com.
Steve will do his best to answer your message in a future column, but he won’t be able to reply to everyone or correspond privately with readers. Nothing in his answers constitutes regulated financial advice. Published questions are sometimes edited for brevity or other reasons.
Please include a daytime phone number with your message – this will be kept confidential and will not be used for marketing purposes.
If Steve can’t answer your question, you can also contact MoneyHelper, a government-backed organization that provides free retirement assistance to the public. It can be found here and the number is 0800 011 3797.
Steve get a lot of questions about AOW forecasts and COPE – the Contracted Out Pension Equivalent. When you write to Steve on this topic, he’s answering a typical reader question here. It contains links to several of Steve’s previous columns on state pension and outsourcing projections, which may be helpful.
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