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Are you are a grandparent, or other family member caring for a child under 12, while the child’s parent goes to work? If so, you may be entitled to claim “National Insurance (NI) credits”. Getting NI credits can help to build entitlement to the State Pension by filling in any gaps in your National Insurance record. So it may give you a higher rate of State Pension once you reach retirement age.
The NI credits belong to the person who is claiming Child Benefit for the child, ie normally the child’s parent. But if the parent is working, they may not need the NI credits, so they could transfer them to you instead, if they wish. (NB if the parent isn’t claiming Child Benefit, then there are no NI credits to transfer.)
The scheme is called Specified Adult Childcare Credits and it started in April 2011. So if you were caring for a family member’s child at any time since April 2011, it’s worth finding out more about it to see if you qualify. (The claim can be backdated.)
To qualify, the child needs to be under age 12 when you were caring for them, and you need to be over 16, and under state pension age while you were caring. The child’s parent needs to have been earning enough to have a full NI contribution record in the tax year that you were caring for the child.
To apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits you’ll need to complete an application form, and the child’s parent (ie the person who was receiving the Child Benefit) will need to sign the form to confirm that you looked after their child and that they agree to transfer their NI credits to you.
You won’t be able to claim Specified Adult Childcare Credits for a particular tax year until the following October at the earliest. For example, for the tax year 2018 to 2019 applications can’t be made until October 2019. This is because HMRC needs to check the child’s parent doesn’t need the NI credits to boost their own NI contribution record for that year.
To find out more about Specified Adult Childcare Credits, see this factsheet:
Or call the National Insurance helpline with any questions about Specified Adult Childcare credits. Phone: 0300 200 3500. (Textphone: 0300 200 3519)