Richard and Judy discuss being grandparents
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Many grandparents are unaware that they are entitled to this cash and they are being encouraged to check if it applies to them.
Lots of grandparents assume caring responsibilities for grandchildren when the parents are working or on holiday.
When they do, they can apply for National Insurance credits to inflate their state pensions.
The credit is available to anyone aged under the state pension age (66) who is currently looking after a family member under the age of 12.
It is known as the Specified Adult Childcare Credit and can make a big difference.
With the current full state pension standing at £179.60 per week, this healthy injection of cash could be a big boost to overall income for many.
The process can happen because the parent who is working will usually be making their own National Insurance contributions and therefore not need the extra National Insurance credit.
If the parent was looking after the child or children they would be entitled to the credit, but as they are do not need them, they can be rolled over to a family member who is taking care of the child or children.
This policy has been in place since 2011, although many are still unaware it exists.
The current rules also mean that people can also backdate their National Insurance credit claim.
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Experts have calculated that a £2,340 state pension boost could go to Britons who have gaps in their National Insurance record due to caring responsibilities.
Naturally, restrictions imposed during the pandemic may have impacted the care that grandparents could give to grandchildren.
But the Government has said that care given by telephone or Zoom can count, among other ways of caring remotely.
To apply for the potentially lucrative National Insurance credits, a form will need to be filled out.
This will give information on the situation and details of the carer and child.
Personal details of the child’s parent will also need to be included.
Finally, both the applicant and parent will need to sign the form to complete the application.
State Pension payments may be a primary source of income in retirement for many, so mechanisms like this to bolster it should be publicised.
Otherwise, pensioners may face a worse standard of living than they are entitled to in retirement.
It should be understood that if people are already entitled to the full state pension, they cannot add to it through this process.
It is designed so people can top their state pension up if they currently fall below the National Insurance credits required to receive the full £179.60 weekly payment.
That means it exists purely to fill in gaps on one’s National Insurance record when someone may have been unable to pay their contributions because they weren’t working due to caring responsibilities.
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