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Carers miss out on annual £200 pension boost

Nearly 200,000 people with caring responsibilities are eligible for a pension credit worth hundreds of pounds each year – yet only one in twenty have signed up.

If you’re caring for someone but not working or claiming other benefits, you’re probably also not making any National Insurance (NI) contributions towards your State Pension. The Carer’s Credit is designed to help people in this situation.

Yet this week the Department for Work and Pensions revealed only 11,000 carers have registered for the credit. With women and the over 50s each representing almost two thirds of those eligible, they’re two groups most likely to benefit from claiming.

The credits can fill gaps in the State Pension retirement income of anyone who cares for others for 20 hours or more each week but doesn’t quality for Carer’s Allowance or receive another benefit such as Child Benefit or JSA.

How National Insurance contributions affect your State Pension

How much NI you’ve contributed will decide how much state pension you receive.

If you’re going to reach State Pension age after April 2016, you’ll need to have made or credited with NI payments for 35 years to receive the maximum State Pension.  So any time out from working or claiming benefits could lower the number of eligible years in your record.

You can request a State Pension statement once you are over 55 to see how much you’d get. If you’re younger you will be able to get a statement too, but it will currently tell you what you’d get under the old system.

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  • Brendon / 11 September 2015

    why is the uks old age pension the lowest in europe, when the government keeps telling us we are a very wealthy country

  • david / 7 September 2015

    people i know are caring for loved ones and others are caring for people that cannot help themselves