The chancellor has given his strongest indication yet of ruling out a predicted 8% rise in the state pension next year.
Official forecasts suggest that the link with earnings growth could mean the bumper rise in the amount paid from April 2022.
Rishi Sunak told the BBC a decision on pensions would be “based on fairness for pensioners and for taxpayers”.
Various commentators have called for an overhaul of the rules.
However, groups representing older people say the government’s promises to pensioners should remain.
Mr Sunak told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The triple lock is government policy but I recognise people’s concerns about what that might mean, given some of the numbers that are being put around.
“We will approach these decisions with fairness in mind – fairness for both pensioners but also for taxpayers.”
He said there were “some questions around the earnings numbers”.
Why would the state pension rise?
The rise in pensions each year is governed by what is known as the triple lock – a Conservative manifesto promise until at least 2024.
This means the state pension increases in line with the rising cost of living seen in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation, increasing average wages, or 2.5%, whichever of those three is highest.
Predictions by the Bank of England suggest that average earnings could go up by 8%, hence the equivalent rise in the state pension.