Grandparents could boost state pension sum by £2,340 if looking after children this summer

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State Pension payments are overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and made available to eligible people of a certain age. These payments can often prove a primary income stream in retirement, and many will hope to get as much out of the state pension as possible. At present, the full state pension amount stands at £179.60 per week, but some may get less dependent on their National Insurance contributions.

But many older people are being encouraged to check if they could boost their state pension sum through a simple action.

Many older people are grandparents, and often take the time to look after their grandchildren while parents are at work.

Instances of this are likely to rise with children taking time off school for the summer holidays.

While this is an opportunity relished by many to spend time with younger ones, it could actually also prove lucrative.

Grandparents may not be aware they could actually boost their state pension sum for caring for grandchildren.

Family members who offer free childcare for parents can apply for National Insurance credits to potentially increase their state pension entitlement.

This is a process known as the Specified Adult Childcare Credit, and can be particularly useful.

The credit can be claimed by anyone under state pension age who is voluntarily looking after a family member under the age of 12.

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This could happen if a parent or primary carer has working responsibilities, for example.

As the parent is at work, often paying their own National Insurance contributions, then they might not require the credits they would otherwise receive from Child Benefit.

Specified Adult Childcare Credit allows the parent claiming Child Benefit to sign over the NI credit to the grandparent who is looking after the child part-time.

This is a policy which has been in place since April 2011, and can benefit everyone who is involved, particularly in stopping gaps in someone’s National Insurance record. 

Due to this date, the rules state people can actually backdate their claim for the NI contributions.

Therefore, experts have estimated a potential windfall could await Britons – worth £2,340 of an annual state pension.

Of course, COVID-19 restrictions may have implemented the care a family member can provide to younger children.

But understanding this, the Government has explained care taking place over the phone, or via Zoom, for example, can count. 

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To apply for Specified Adult Childcare Credits, an application form needs to be submitted.

This will need to contain key information about the situation and who is caring for the child.

It will include: 

  • 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

Finally, both the applicant and the parent will be required to sign their declarations on the application. 

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