State pension warning as many carers miss out on National Insurance credits – check now

State pension: Expert discusses possible 'significant increase'

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A State Pension entitlement is usually comprised of a certain number of National Insurance contributions a person builds up throughout their lifetime. National Insurance contributions are usually garnered through working, however, this is not the only way to build up a record. For some, traditional working roles will not be possible due to the fact they have to care for others.

However, this does not mean these individuals will have to miss out on the chance to build up their NI record.

This is because these people may be able to receive a National Insurance credit which is known as Carer’s Credit.

Carer’s Credit is a weekly credit intended to protect a person’s future entitlement to the state pension and other potential payments.

Individuals will be able to receive the sum if they are looking after one or more people for a total of 20 hours or more per week, but the person being cared for must be in receipt of certain benefits.

These include PIP, Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance.

People in this circumstance will be unable to work full time, and therefore Carer’s Credit can help with their National Insurance record. 

Despite Carer’s Credit being implemented to help those who care for others, many people are not taking advantage of the support.

Research undertaken by financial firm Quilter, has shown only a fifth of eligible carers have claimed Carer’s Credit since it was first established in 2010.

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A freedom of information request found just 5,209 people claimed Carer’s Credit towards their state pension entitlement in 2020.

This was a drop from the 6,489 figure recorded in 2019.

The annual Carer’s Credit is worth up to £266 per year in state pension to help older people.

Indeed, over a typical 20 year retirement period, this could mean a boost of £5,300.

Understandably, this could make a real difference to a person’s finances, and is worth investigating. 

People will not need to apply for Carer’s Credit if they are already in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, Child Benefit, or are a foster carer.

For those who do not fall into this bracket, applications can be processed by downloading the Carer’s Credit claim form on the Government website.

Alternatively, individuals can get the form by calling the Carer’s Allowance Unit. 

Some people, however, may not need the Carer’s Credit to get a full National Insurance record.

Nonetheless, checking one’s state pension entitlement is likely to provide certainty.

The Government has developed an online tool dedicated to assisting Britons in checking how much they are set to receive and when.

It may also aid in helping individuals ascertain whether they could potentially increase their state pension entitlement.

Some may choose, though, not to use the online tool, although the Government states this is the quickest way to procure this information.

Instead, individuals can ask for their forecast to be posted out to them, or fill in an application form on the Government’s website to find out more. 

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