Are you a grandparent who is missing out on £230 a year?
PUBLISHED: 11:19 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:15 21 March 2018
Nearly 90% of grandparents who look after their grandchildren are missing out on £230 a year in unclaimed state pension credits.
Despite a seven-fold increase in the number of people claiming National Insurance credits in the year to September 2017 Royal London estimated only one in 10 of those able to claim under current rules were doing so.
Where a grandparent is looking after a grandchild to allow the child’s parent to get back to work, the grandparent may be entitled to a National Insurance credit to help them build up a full state pension.
The way the system works is that the person receiving child benefit for the child signs over the National Insurance credit they receives as a child benefit recipient to the grandparent.
A year ago, Royal London obtained HMRC figures which showed that just 1298 grandparents had claimed this National Insurance credit in the year from October 2015 to September 2016. A new Freedom of Information request reply shows that there were 9486 applications in the year to September 2017.
A grandparent who looks after a grandchild for one year could add around £230 per year to the amount of state pension they get in retirement. Over a typical twenty year retirement this could be worth more than £4,500.
Steve Webb, 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 could be entitled to benefit and would encourage more of them to find out about the scheme and to make a claim.”