Thousands of grandparents could increase state pension – are you missing out on boost?

State Pension: Expert outlines criteria to qualify

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The state pension sum is vital for millions of people, who will want to receive the highest amount possible. There could be an easy way to do so, which ends up benefitting families. 

With children on their summer holidays, working parents can often find it a difficult balancing act to juggle their careers and childcare.

It may be necessary for parents to leave their children in the care of others for a few hours while they work.

It is at this point grandparents often decide to step in to avoid their children paying high childcare costs which could otherwise be avoided.

Grandparents get to enjoy time with their grandchildren, while parents can avoid costs and have peace of mind. 

However, many older people could actually benefit financially from caring for their grandchildren this summer. 

Individuals may not be aware they could actually boost their state pension through this action.

Any family member who offers free childcare for parents should be able to apply for National Insurance credits, which could fill gaps in their record.

This process is known as the Specified Adult Childcare Credit and could be useful for boosting the state pension.

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To be eligible, a person must be under state pension age and voluntarily looking after a family member under the age of 12.

It could be well suited for grandparents who are close to state pension age, and worried about if they will receive the full state pension sum.

If a parent of the child is at work, they are often paying their own National Insurance contributions.

Consequently, they may not require the credits they would otherwise receive from a claim for Child Benefit.

The Specified Adult Childcare Credit scheme, therefore allows the parent claiming Child Benefit to transfer their NI credit to the grandparent who is offering care part-time.

The policy has been in place since 2011, and can be a win-win for all who are involved.

Going back 10 years, individuals may be able to back claim for the credits.

As a result, they could be worth thousands of pounds, and particularly worthwhile.

However, the Government website explains: “We cannot accept applications for a particular tax year until the following October at the earliest. 

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“For example, for the tax year 2018 to 2019 applications must not be made until October 2019. 

“This is because we need to check the parent already has a qualifying year for National Insurance purposes, and that can take until the October.”

To apply for the Specified Adult Childcare credits, individuals need to complete an application form.

This requires specific details about the parent, child and family member, including: 

  • Personal details of the applicant – the family member caring for the child
  • Child’s details and the periods of care
  • Personal details of the child’s parent (or main carer) – the Child Benefit recipient
  • Signatures of both the applicant and parent.

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