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Thousands of Grandparents Missing Out on Pension Perks

elizabethelden
22nd March 2018, 8:00 AM
  • Up to 90,000 grandparents and family members are missing out on National Insurance Credits
  • 90% of those eligible are failing to claim
  • Worth up to £230 a year
  • Calls for Government to increase awareness of the benefit
Grandparents and family members are missing out on a valuable National Insurance Credit. Image: Getty

Up to 90,000 grandparents and family members are missing out on National Insurance credits, that can be worth up to £230 a year.

Insurance firm Royal London said 90% of those eligible were failing to claim the perk, which is known as Adult Specified Childcare Credit.

The Credit is mainly relevant to grandparents who look after grandchildren, but could apply to other family members too.

The person doing the caring needs to be under state pension age, and the credit goes towards their future state pension.

A grandparent who looks after a grandchild could add about £230 per year to the amount of state pension they get in retirement.

Over a typical 20 year retirement period, this could be worth more than £4,500.

Parents or main carers can claim National Insurance Credits under a separate scheme.

From September 2016 to September 2017, only 9,486 people claimed the credit, and although this is a significant increase on the previous year, there are still thousands who could be claiming.

Insurance firm Royal London found that another 90,000 people could be claiming this valuable credit, and believes that the Government should be doing more to promote it.

Sir Steve Webb, a former pensions minister who is now director of policy at Royal London, said, “It is right and proper that when grandparents sacrifice their own working life to help a family member get back to work, they should not also damage their own state pension prospects.

“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 that there are tens of thousands more grandparents who are entitled to the benefit and would encourage more of them to find out about the scheme and to make a claim.”

To find out more about the claim, check the government’s website.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said, “It is important that people take up the support on offer and there are a range of credits available that can help boost their state pension.

“For anyone on the cusp of retirement, our advice is to get to know their pension and find out what they might be entitled to.

“From help with the cost of their heating, to topping up their state pension, there is a wealth of support to help in retirement.”

Earlier in the year, it was also found that two thirds of pensioners are missing out on benefits that are worth up to £1,00 a year, due to a lack of information given to them on what they are owed.

Carers are also missing out on National Insurance credits for their pensions, which has furthered the calls for the Government to make information on what people are owed easier to access.

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