Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said:
"By suspending the pensions triple lock, the Government is letting down older people living on a low income at the worst possible time, when their finances are already under increased pressure.
"Our own analysis at Independent Age revealed that pensioner poverty is on the rise. 1 in 5 pensioners are currently living in relative poverty, the highest rate since 2008, which means that 2.1 million pensioners are struggling financially.
"We regularly hear from people aged 65 and over who are worried about not having enough money to feed themselves or who aren’t turning the heating on in the winter in order to save money. This has only got worse during the pandemic with almost 1 in 4 in our recent survey indicating that they were feeling more financially insecure because of the pandemic.
"Currently, older people in the UK receive one of the least generous state pensions in the developed world. The triple lock is vital in protecting the value of the state pension, which provides 25% of single pensioners with their only source of income in later life other than benefits. This was a missed opportunity to increase the relative value of the state pension, helping to ensure that everyone can have a financially secure retirement.
"Many older people are rightly concerned that this one year suspension will be used as a pretext for scrapping the triple lock entirely next year. Getting rid of the triple lock completely would not just impact people already living on a state pension, during a time of increased hardship, but younger people as well. Research from the Pensions Policy Institute has highlighted that the loss of the triple lock would double the amount that a low-paid young worker has to save to avoid poverty in old age.
"The Government must urgently give its assurance that it will keep to its manifesto promise and not remove the triple lock entirely."