State pension boost worth ‘thousands of pounds’ may be available to grandparents | Personal Finance | Finance

Hundreds of thousands of the nation’s grandparents who have – or are – providing childcare may be missing out on the National Insurance (NI) credits to boost their state pension, an expert has warned.

Financial Times journalist and host of the podcast, Money Clinic, Claer Barrett took to ITV’s Lorraine show this morning to alert viewers that by failing to claim, they could be missing out on “thousands” of pounds in retirement.

Delving into the stats with today’s show host, Christine Lampard, Ms Barrett said some grandparents spend up to 250 hours looking after grandchildren over the summer, which is “equivalent to a full-time job”.

She then asked viewers: “If that’s you, could you be claiming these valuable National Insurance credits towards your state pension, which could give you many extra thousands of pounds when you’ve retired in those state pension payments in later life?”

The more years of National Insurance credits a person has, either through work or through claiming benefits, the more state pension cash they’ll be entitled to when they retire.

While those who aren’t working won’t be getting National Insurance credits, Ms Barrett noted if “you’re looking after children for your children, who are working” you can transfer over the National Insurance credit that they would be entitled to instead.

These are called Adult Childcare Credits but worryingly, very few Britons have heard of them.

Ms Barrett said: “A massive survey by Royal London has found that two-thirds of grandparents have never heard of Adult Childcare Credits.

“The rules are you’ve got to be younger than state pension age to claim it. So that’s younger than 66 at the moment.”

Ms Barrett added that the child or children the person is looking after must be under the age of 12 and the person has to care for them on a “regular basis”. The parents also have to be working while their children are being looked after.

Ms Barrett said: “So if you meet those criteria, Adult Childcare Credits on the website – you can find out how to apply.

“The really, really good news about this is that you can backdate those payments to 2011. So that’s 12 years potentially that people could fill up the gaps in their National Insurance record and get thousands more over the years back in state pension.”

Ms Barrett added: “The really horrible thing about this is that all too often it’s women who have these gaps and women who have to live with a lower pension in retirement for many years.

“So spread the word. If this could be a friend of yours, even your mum – it doesn’t have to be the grandparent. It could be an auntie or another relative. All the details are on the website.”

Under new state pension rules, people need at least 10 qualifying years on their National Insurance record to get any state pension.

People eligible for the full new state pension need around 35 years on their record, while those eligible for the full basic state pension need around 30 years.

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV.

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