State pension: Grandparents could be missing out on hundreds – act from today

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State Pension is important to many people as it can provide a source of income to ensure a comfortable retirement. But there is a particular form of help which many people are missing out on, which could help the sum they ultimately receive. Grandparents who look after their grandchildren, particularly as parents return to work, have been urged to check if they could receive an important form of assistance.

From today, family members who provide free childcare for parents are able to apply for credits for their state pension entitlement for the current year.

This could provide a welcome boost for retirement that many may be looking to take advantage of.

The assistance is known as a Specified Adult Childcare credit and can provide valuable assistance to certain people.

It can be claimed by grandparents or other family members who are caring for a child under the age of 12.

Such an instance would typically occur if a parent or primary carer has work responsibilities.

As this person is at work and in many cases paying National Insurance, they may no require the credits which accompany Child Benefit.

Instead, then, they may choose to sign over the credit to the member of the family who is caring for the child part-time.

This is an action which has no extra cost, and could therefore prove particularly beneficial.

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Kay Ingram, Director of Public Policy at national financial planning group LEBC, commented on the important date.

She said: “Those carers not paying National Insurance themselves can claim these valuable top ups to their State Pension.

“HMRC believe that this benefit is underclaimed, and many who are eligible are therefore missing out.

“Those who have been providing childcare in earlier years can backdate their claim to the point at which the scheme started, i.e. in 2011.

“This could mean claiming up to nine years’ credits, currently worth £2,340 of annual state pension.”

However, for those who have been unable to see their families during the lockdown period, the financial support is still available.

The government has confirmed carers who have provided remote childcare will still be eligible to receive the credits.

Its website explains: “Since March 2020, your normal caring arrangements may have been affected by coronavirus.

“If you have provided care in a different way, for example over the telephone or video, you can still apply for NI credits for the financial year 2019/20 and 2020/21.”

There is, however, an application process Britons must go through to claim Specified Adult Childcare credits.

An application form must be filled out which includes personal details of the applicant, the child’s details and the period of care, as well as the personal details of the child’s parent or main carer.

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

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