I have been in my current position for nearly six years. During which time, I have received a default 2-2.5% annual raise -- about level with RPI, so effectively nothing in real terms -- based on almost-entirely absent performance reviews. ("Absent" because my line managers have let them slide and never bothered chasing them up.) Currently, it is very clear that, amongst my peers, I am the most skilled, productive and have the most institutional knowledge. Besides this being "just my opinion", it has been echoed -- albeit not quite so explicitly -- by my line manager. For example, I am given more complex tasks, and/or tasks with more responsibility (including training said peers).
It is also true that I am at (or exceed) the levels of skill of many staff that are at the next "rank" up. (Don't get me wrong, there are also many at this higher rank who vastly exceed my skill.) I understand that rank does not necessarily correlate with merit -- which explains the wide range -- but, on paper, I believe I have a good case for promotion; based on seniority, skill and productivity. However, there would be no any added value to my employer, more like a market correction for me.
Unfortunately, given the current times, the opportunity cost of alternative employment is way too high. While this is my opinion, I think it's fairly objective. As such, it's a completely asymmetric relationship and my employer can therefore just refuse, knowing that I won't leave. (Having the effect of making me look overambitious/greedy and, consequently, resentful. Not a good look!) They could even justify it using the crisis or, more reasonably, the absence of performance reviews. I'm not going to call their bluff, because I know I'd probably "blink first", having more to lose.
Obviously, "don't ask, don't get", but what's the point, given the potential fallout? Even if it weren't for the pandemic, I'd have trouble justifying this to myself (because alternative employment takes time to establish and comes with a great deal of risk). The crisis, however, pushes it completely over that threshold for me. In the meantime, the status quo makes me feel less and less respected. (I'm also of the mind that I should be happy just to have a stable job, given the current circumstances.)
(I briefly considered the alternative solution of artificially limiting my ability/output in line with my peers. However, this seems like a terrible idea, because it would just come across as obstructive and insubordinate; i.e., fireable!)