What are specified adult childcare credits? Enable’s IFAs know a lot of grandparents and carers might be missing out on £250 a year in benefits. Specified adult childcare credits can be paid to relatives looking after a child while a parent works. It means you could be entitled to a State Pension top up, but the vast majority of eligible claimants are missing out.
Currently, any relative looking after a child in order to allow a parent to return to work may be entitled to a National Insurance Credit (NIC) that tops up their State Pension. They’re worth £250 a year and it’s estimated as many as a million people could be eligible. However, research from insurer Royal London found that many carers, most of whom are the child’s grandparents, are yet to claim. Meaning many thousands of carers are still missing out on a pension boost that could end up being worth thousands in retirement.
Lots of grandparents love looking after their grandchildren but probably don’t realise that if a mother goes back to work after the birth of a child, she can sign a form that allows a grandparent or other family member to receive National Insurance Credits for looking after that grandchild. Indeed any relative can claim once mum has gone back to work, as long as they’re of working age and the children that they look after are under 12.
There is a very low uptake of this benefit. A Freedom of Information request by Royal London found that just under 18,000 people have claimed the valuable benefit in the last 19 months. Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and a former pensions minister, described this number as a “drop in the ocean”.
Enable’s experience independent financial advisors agree that the scheme needs to be much better publicised. You can even make backdated claims on the credits as far back as 2011.