Martin Lewis shares little-known benefit that ‘adds thousands to pensions’
The MoneySavingExpert founder said childcare credits can add thousands to a state pension
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The MoneySavingExpert founder issued a message on Twitter encouraging people to check if they are entitled to the support.
Mr Lewis said that grandparents who look after their grandchildren could be entitled to claim Specified Adult Childcare credits, and urged those who are eligible to apply.
In a post on Twitter, he wrote: “Pls share. There’s a little known benefit for grandparents who look after their grandchildren while parents work.
“If ur a parent of an under 12, if your parent (ie childs grandparent) do childcare so you can work, u can apply to get em "Specified Adult Childcare Credit."
He continued: “This means they get the National Insurance years that normally go to a parent who is off work looking after children (as you’re working you’ll usually be getting from work). This can add £1,000s to a state pension.”
Who is entitled to Specified Adult Childcare credits?
Specified Adult Childcare credits were introduced from April 2011. You may be entitled to receive these National Insurance credits if you are a grandparent, or other family member, who cares for a child under 12 while their parent or main carer is working.
These credits work by transferring the National Insurance credit attached to Child Benefit from the recipient to a family member who is providing care.
You can claim Child Benefit if you are responsible for bringing up a child who is aged under 16, or under 20 if they are still in approved education or training.
What will I get?
Specified Adult Childcare credits will help build up your National Insurance contributions. This means:
- you will receive a Class 3 National Insurance credit for each week or part week you cared for the child (Class 3 National Insurance credits help to build entitlement to the State Pension and, until April 2017, certain bereavement benefits)
- it can help to stop gaps in your National Insurance record
How can I apply?
You can apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits if you are a grandparent, or other family member caring for a child under 12.
You must have been over the age of 16 and under state pension age when you cared for the child, and be a resident in the UK.
The child’s parent or main carer must be entitled to Child Benefit and have a qualifying year for National Insurance without needing the parent’s class 3 National Insurance credits which they receive automatically from Child Benefit. They can check their National Insurance record online to see if they have any gaps in contributions.
The child’s parent or main carer must agree to your application by countersigning the form to confirm that you cared for their child for the period stated, and you can have the Class 3 National Insurance credit for the period stated.
To apply you will need to complete an application form via the government website. The application requires the:
- 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
- applicant and the parent must both sign their declarations on the application
Specified Adult Childcare credits can be awarded retrospectively, to 6 April 2011 at the earliest. The government cannot accept applications for a particular tax year until the following October at the earliest. For example, for the tax year 2018 to 2019 applications must not be made until October 2019.