Grandparents on childcare duty urged to claim credits for pension boost
To qualify in full for the new State Pension (retirement on or after 6 April 2016), retirees need to have 35 years’ worth of National Insurance Contributions (NICs).
Any adult under state pension age who is the main carer for a child under 12 can apply for special credits, called Specified Adult Childcare credits.
This ensures any gaps in your National Insurance record are filled so boosts your chances of getting the full state pension (currently £164.35 per week or £8,546.20 a year). Further, the credits can be backdated to 6 April 2011 when the scheme came into effect.
Around 100,000 grandparents of working age are eligible to claim the credit, but minister for pensions and financial inclusion, Guy Opperman, confirmed just 19,000 have benefitted.
This means 81,000 grandparents are missing out which could impact their state pension for years to come.
‘Credits are the least this unsung workforce deserves’
Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert at Old Mutual Wealth, said: “With childcare costs surging to become a disproportionate amount of people’s salary, grandparents often throw families a much needed lifeline by taking on the care.
“However, the vast majority of this workforce are not seizing what they rightly deserve. This is a worrying figure, given the option has been in place for over seven years.
“While spending your days taking trips to the zoo and having picnics in the park may sound like a holiday, taking care of young children while doing so make it’s more akin to working a full-time job. National Insurance credits are the least this unsung workforce deserves.”
If you think you’re eligible for the credits, fill in the application for Specified Childcare Credits (CA9176) on the government’s site.
Related: See How the government is trying to cut your summer holiday childcare bill for more information.