State Pension payments are a lifeline for thousands of people in the UK and will increase by 2.5% next year.

This means that those on the full, new State Pension will receive £179.60 per week, an increase of £4.40 on the current rate of £175.20.

Pension experts said the announcement about the changes in the 2021/22 tax year sends out a "difficult message" at a time when many of the working population are facing pay freezes.

Highlighting concerns about fairness between the generations, they pointed out that pensions were funded by the National Insurance contributions of current workers.

People who have reached State Pension age will receive the increase next year

The changes were confirmed in a written statement made by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Dr Therese Coffey.

Under the "triple lock" system, State Pensions increase every year in line with inflation, earnings, or 2.5% - whichever is highest.

Earlier this year, the UK Government moved to avoid a State Pension freeze, with a Bill to remove a legal barrier - as under the rules the state pension could only be increased if there had been growth in average earnings in the relevant period of the preceding year.

Many working adults have suffered pay cuts, job losses and furloughing this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ian Browne, pensions expert at Quilter said: "As expected, the [UK] Government has confirmed that State Pension incomes will rise next year by 2.5%, maintaining the minimum increase promised under the triple lock.

"This will be welcome news for retirees and it means the Chancellor and Work and Pensions Secretary can, for now at least, avoid accusations of breaking manifesto pledges to the elderly.

"But it will be hard to ignore the fact that giving retirees an inflation-busting income rise, while simultaneously announcing a pay freeze on many public sector workers, is a difficult message."

Mr Browne added: "Whilst state pension incomes are protected for the coming year, there will be big pressure on [UK] Government to unpick the triple lock over the remainder of this Parliament.

"In addition, the current cost of the state pension will not go unnoticed by younger generations as intergenerational inequality had been growing even before the pandemic and has been heavily exacerbated in the past six months."