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Grandparents and carers may be missing out on tax credits

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As many as 90,000 grandparents and family members who look after young children may be missing out on National Insurance credits that could boost their State Pension.

To qualify in full for the State Pension, retirees need to have made 35 years’ worth of National Insurance Contributions. Those who look after young children can claim National Insurance credits worth up to £230 a year in retirement.

Insurance group Royal London found that in the year to September 2017 there were 9,486 applications for the credit. While this is an increase on last year, there are still many who could claim, but aren’t.

Any family member who looks after a child under 12 while the child’s main carer or parent is working can make a claim. They have to be of working age, which may rule out some grandparents.

The findings follow a report showing that stay-at-home mothers may also be missing out. Those claiming Child Benefit should automatically receive credits, but those with a spouse in the higher tax bracket will no longer receive Child Benefit and may lose their pension entitlement as a result.

Steve Webb, Royal London’s policy director, told the BBC: “This National Insurance credit is a valuable right, and it is good news that the numbers claiming have risen so dramatically in such a short space of time. But we believe there are tens of thousands more grandparents who could be entitled to benefit, and we would encourage more of them to find out about the scheme and to make a claim.”

To make a claim for National Insurance credits, apply online (you’ll need Adobe Reader).

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