PENSIONERS are missing out on nearly £500 a year due to the UK Government's suspension of the triple lock, analysis indicates.

House of Commons library research concluded the full rate for the New State Pension is currently £185.15 per week.

But if pensions had been uprated in line with earnings, it would amount to £194.50 per week – equating to a loss of £9.35 per week, or £488 per year.

It follows separate analysis - again from the House of Commons Library - conducted in June, which revealed that UK pensions are the least generous in north-west Europe by comparison to the average wage.

The triple lock is a government commitment to raise the value of the state pension every tax year by the higher rate of inflation, average wage growth or 2.5%.

It has been a core commitment of every UK Government budget since 2010 and was a response to the fact the real value of the state pension had fallen.

But ministers have suspended the policy because of the huge rise in earnings caused by the pandemic. 

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During the crisis, many people were earning less than usual because they had been furloughed and, as people came off the scheme, a large rise in average earnings was recorded.

Under the rules of the triple lock, this would mean that state pensions would need to rise by a similar amount, but the Government said this was not feasible.

The SNP have said the latest figures confirm the only way to protect Scotland's pensioners is by achieving independence.

The National: Kirsty BlackmanKirsty Blackman

Kirsty Blackman, the party's work and pensions spokesperson, said: "This latest analysis from the House of Commons Library confirms one thing - only independence can protect Scotland’s pensioners from this toxic Westminster system.

“To date, under Westminster rule, UK pensioners have the least generous pensions in north-west Europe by comparison to the average wage – and this analysis shows things are only getting worse.

“At a time when households across the four nations are choosing between heating their homes and eating, pensioners having £500 removed from their pocket is cruel and callous.

“After a decade of Tory austerity, and multiple decades of Scotland being governed by parties they did not vote for, it is time for change.

“With the full powers of independence, we can protect Scotland’s pensioners, eradicate poverty, and finally build the progressive country we long to see.”

The triple lock is set to be reinstated next year for the remainder of the current Parliament.