A 66-year-old woman said she was ‘not entitled’ to a state pension due to a National Insurance loophole

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People approaching retirement age are being urged to check if they qualify for a state pension after a 66-year-old woman was told she was ‘not entitled to it’.

The mother-of-five reached retirement age to receive a letter telling her she was not entitled to the benefit.

Her son took to Reddit to explain that his mother missed National Insurance (NI) credits while raising her five children.

People in Britain must have at least 10 qualifying years on their NI record to receive part of the state pension and 35 years to claim the full amount.

The Express reported that the man commenting on Reddit explained that his father had Child Benefit in his name.

Seeking advice on the r/UKpersonalfinance forum, he wrote: “My mum has recently reached statutory retirement age. However, she received a letter saying she was not entitled to it.

“What seems to have happened is that she brought up five children, but the child benefit for all of us was in my father’s name. She therefore did not get NI credit for raising five children.

“My father has been employed and self-employed his entire life and has paid all of his NI dues – employment and self-employment. His NI record shows he pays all the relevant NIs, and he has the post office NI stamps to prove it.

Child Benefit counts towards an individual’s NI record so stay-at-home parents can claim credits while raising their children.

The man explained that his mother would have accrued 21 years of NI credits for her five children, which would have qualified her for at least part of a state pension.

However, her father was only able to transfer nine years of NI credits to her mother.

He said his parents were immigrants who “would have had no idea” of the consequences of having child benefits in his father’s name and had not been informed of the potential problem by the benefits office.

Independent financial adviser Rebecca Robertson told the Express “so many people” have found themselves in similar situations where they reach retirement age.

She suggested people could get a pension forecast from the state and also explained that Britons could buy voluntary national insurance to fill gaps in their record.

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