Grandparents who are helping to care for their grandchildren could be missing out on thousands of pounds in National Insurance credits.
Figures suggest that some grandparents are entitled to £5,000 over a 20-year retirement, which would be paid directly into their pension.
What are Specified Adult Childcare credits?
Specified Adult Childcare is a scheme that launched in 2011 to help support grandparents who look after their grandchildren.
It means that if a parent goes back to work after the birth of their child, they can sign a form to allow a grandparent or other family member to receive national insurance credits, as long as the child is under the age of 12.
The credits go straight into the grandparent’s state pension.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
You may be eligible to receive these NI credits if you are a grandparent who is caring for a child under the age of 12, usually whilst the parent (or main carer) is away at work.
According to the government website, you are able to apply for these Specified Adult Childcare credits if:
You are a grandparent, or another family member, caring for a child under 12 years of age.
You were over 16 and under state pension age when you cared for the child.
You are ordinarily a resident within the UK - that means England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but excludes the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
The parent of the child (or the main carer) is entitled to child benefit and also has a qualifying year for National Insurance without needing the parent’s class 3 NI credits which they receive automatically from Child Benefit.
The main parent (or carer) agrees to your application by countersigning.
How do I apply?
You can apply on the Gov.uk website by filling out an application form.
The application form requires the following:
Personal details of the person applying.
The child’s details and the periods of care undertaken.
Personal details of the child’s parent (or main carer) who is also a Child Benefit recipient.
Signatures from both applicant and the parent (or main carer).
This article originally appeared on our sister site The Scotsman