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Could looking after a grandchild boost your pension?

granddad with child AdobeStock_68846140.jpg

According to Sir Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and former pensions minister, tens of thousands of grandparents are missing out on National Insurance (NI) credits which could be worth more than £230 a year when they retire. Could it be you?

Parents who give up work are given NI credits while their children are under 12, to help them get a state pension. If they return to work, relatives can claim the credits instead. It doesn’t only apply to grandparents it can be any relative but only one relative can claim. Those who have missed out on the scheme can make back-dated claims up to 2011.

If you are a grandparent and relative not in paid work and looking after children under 12 years old you could be entitled to National Insurance credits which may help you qualify for a full state pension.

Paul Lewis, in his article in Saga outlines the four main conditions:

  1. Child’s parent gets child benefit for a child under 12.

  2. That parent has a full National Insurance record for the whole tax year. That doesn’t mean they have to work all the year. But they have to have paid enough contributions at work in that year for it to count towards their state pension.

  3. the grandparent or other relative has provided some care for the child in every week during that tax year. ‘Provided care’ is not defined but as long as the relative has looked after the child for some time in the week that is sufficient. For example, after school during term time and visits or days out in the school holidays. Credits can be given for individual weeks or fewer weeks than the whole tax year but that may not be enough to make the year ‘count’ towards the caring relative’s state pension.

  4. The relative claiming the credits has to be aged 16 or more but under state pension age for the whole of the tax year.

For more information about the Specified Adult Childcare credits from the Department of Work and Pensions and a claim form click here

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