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Grandparents on childcare duty urged to claim credits for pension boost

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Grandparents who provide childcare for their grandchildren are urged to claim a national insurance credit to ensure they receive the maximum state pension.

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.

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  • Morgeo

    This is a big fraud by the DWP because if you decide to retire abroad then you have the pension lottery whereby should you choose the British Virgin Islands -just lovely but you will lose your pension indexation but had you chosen the US Virgin Islands then you would be paid your indexation without any problem. So why not retire to a Commonwealth country like Canada or Australia, that makes sense does’nt it ? For a nice country the answer is yes but for a state pension the answer is no because the UK Government freeze the pensions of 544,000 pensioners already living in certain countries but have no logical reason to do so – certainly not financial.. Just plain FRAUD imposed by section 20 of the Pension Act demanding a reciprocal agreement with the country concerned but have agreed that this is not actually a necessary requirement but placing it in an Act of Parliament makes this fraud legal and a way to con the public even though in reality they are cheating themselves because every frozen pensioner is saving the UK Treasury money by not being resident in the UK.
    Please see this :-
    This saving is increased by these pensioners having no benefits abroad which will increase this saving even more – giving the government even less reason to freeze them but not paying them is sending them back to UK where these savings will disappear and their indexation will also now be paid as UK residents.- dumb or what ?

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