State pension alert: Grandparents could boost sum by £2,340 amid triple lock freeze

Financial expert explains changes to the state pension

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State pension payments are often vital, and consequently, many will be hoping for the full sum. This usually hinges on National Insurance contributions, and to get any state pension at all, 10 qualifying years are typically required.

Those hopeful of unlocking the full sum will usually need 35 years of eligible contributions.

However, there are many reasons as to why a person may not be able to get the full amount.

Low-paid work, not working at all, or even leaving the country for certain periods of time could all affect one’s National Insurance record.

This could be rectified by grandparents in certain circumstances. 

Many grandparents will take great pleasure in looking after their grandchildren and spending time with them.

In some cases, grandparents will be important carers, for example while parents are at work.

The labour of love could be rewarded with a helpful boost to the state pension sum.

Any family member who offers free childcare to help parents can apply for National Insurance credits.

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These valuable credits can go towards the state pension, helping to give it a valuable increase.

The process, known as Specified Adult Childcare Credit, can be claimed by people under state pension age who voluntarily look after a child under 12.

Parents who work will usually pay their own National Insurance contributions.

As such, it is unlikely they need credits they would otherwise get from Child Benefit.

By using Specified Adult Childcare Credit, a parent can sign over these NI credits to a grandparent or other person looking after the child.

The process can be enacted without cost, and serves as a win-win for all those involved.

Even great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as brothers and sisters can benefit. 

The Government explains: “Specified Adult Childcare credits can be awarded retrospectively.

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“This is to April 6, 2011, at the earliest.”

Experts therefore estimate grandparents could benefit to the tune of an equivalent £2,340. 

Britons should be aware applications for a particular tax year cannot be accepted until the following October at the earliest.

This is because the Government needs to check the parent already has a qualifying year for National Insurance purposes.

To apply for the Specified Adult Childcare Credit, parents will need to take action.

Filling in the specific form is the best course of action, and 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 to both sign their declarations on the application.

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