GRANDPARENTS caring for their grandchildren can claim money for their state pension worth several thousand pounds.
This could be helpful as many older family members are looking after their grandchildren to help parents get back to work.
To compensate them for their time, grandparents may be entitled to additional credits which will be used to calculate their state pension.
These credits are called ‘Specified Adult Child Care Credits’ and are worth £ 267 per year.
They count as a National Insurance Contribution Credit (NIC) for those who are not working otherwise.
This is important because you need at least 10 years of NI payments or credits to qualify for the state pension, and at least 35 years to get the full amount (currently £ 9,350 per year) .
Grandparents and any family member can claim these credits for their state pension rights for the previous fiscal year in 2020/2021.
And you can still get these credits even if the care was not in person due to the pandemic.
Those who have provided child care in previous years can back date their application to the time the program started in 2011.
This means that you can now claim up to 10 years of credits, with a current value of £ 2,670 of annual state pension.
This year, the government changed the rules regarding these credits because many grandparents were unable to visit their grandchildren due to the coronavirus crisis.
Now, care for grandparents, or other family members below retirement age, can be done by phone or video.
How do I check if I am eligible?
To be eligible, the caregiver must have reached the legal retirement age, which was 66 last year.
The child must also be under 12, or 17 if disabled.
To claim, you must live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, but not in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
In addition, you are only eligible if the parent of the child is entitled to family allowances and has a qualifying year for national insurance without needing the class 3 national insurance credits from the parent they are receiving. automatically family allowances.
You can consult your national insurance file on the gov.uk site to see if you have any gaps in contributions.
How much can I claim?
The amount you get in extra credits depends on how long you are looking after your grandchildren.
Each annual credit is worth 1/35 of the value of the state pension, which is currently around £ 267 per year.
So if you take care of it since the credits launched in 2011, you can expect to receive the full £ 2,670 for your state pension.
To calculate how much you’ll get, simply multiply the number of years of care by £ 267 to get a rough idea.
How to claim the credits?
These credits are complicated because to obtain them, parents have to assign their national insurance credit for family allowances to someone else.
Of course, parents should only do this if they are already working or earning credits themselves in some other way.
You should also be aware that only one grandparent or family member can receive the credit and that the credit is not per child, but per family allowance applicant.
So if, for example, two grandparents are taking care of their daughter and her partner’s two children, there is only one credit available and the daughter will have to decide which grandparent should have the credit.
But if the grandparents are looking after their daughter’s child and their son’s child, there will likely be two family allowance recipients – one for each parent group.
There are therefore two national insurance credits available for the transfer.
You can apply for the credits using this form on government website.
Once you have filled in your contact details, the child’s parent (or primary caregiver) must also accept your request by countersigning the form.
If you need help, you can call the National Insurance Hotline on 0300 200 3500.
It is not only the grandparents who may be absent. Parents who do not work should also ensure that they apply for family allowances to build up national insurance credits.
Meanwhile, more than 300,000 families are believed to be lacking in tax-free childcare services worth up to £ 2,000 per year per child.
People approaching state retirement age may also be excluded from retirement credits and housing allowances worth £ 11,400 per year.
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