Grandparents caring for children this summer could get £6,000 boost

Grandparents who assist with childcare this summer could increase their state pension by £6,000. Recent research by wealth management company Quilter emphasises the financial advantages of applying for specified adult childcare credits.

These credits are granted when parents transfer National Insurance credits, which can subsequently help fill gaps in your National Insurance record. To be eligible for specified adult childcare credits you must have been below the state pension age (currently 66) while caring for a child. The child should be below 12 or below 17 if they have a disability.

There is no specific requirement for the number of hours spent caring for the child and claims can be backdated to 2011 so even if you were a caregiver in the past but aren't now you might still be entitled to claim. The child's parent needs to be receiving child benefit as they'll be transferring the National Insurance credit that usually comes with it to the grandparent, reports the Mirror.

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Therefore the parent should also ensure they're accumulating their own National Insurance record for retirement so as not to impact their own state pension forecast. It's not just grandparents who could qualify as aunts or uncles or anyone who regularly cares for a child could make a claim. For money-saving tips sign up to our money newsletter here.

Most individuals require 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to be eligible for the full new state pension, currently valued at £203.85 per week, with a minimum of 10 years needed to receive any amount. Gaps in one's National Insurance record could mean missing out on the full state pension, which is where claiming specified adult childcare credits can come into play.

Quilter has highlighted that specified adult childcare credits could boost your state pension by up to £328 a year. Over an average retirement period this could mean an additional financial benefit exceeding £6,000. The firm also noted that 123,138 people have successfully claimed these credits.

Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter, said: "It is fantastic to see more grandparents and other family members take advantage of specified adult childcare credits. The numbers of people applying for the credit have been steadily climbing and last year saw the most people apply on record with this year set to top that.

"These credits are not only crucial for securing the full state pension if you have gaps in your National Insurance record but they are also a cost-effective method of doing so versus paying to fill in missed years. It's worth knowing too that the number of hours a grandparent helps out with childcare is irrelevant to the claim. Even if it's just one day a week eligible grandparents should be able to claim.

"More needs to be done to highlight that these credits are available and to educate people on how to correctly apply so they avoid rejection. If not this unsung workforce of child carers will fail to benefit despite playing a critical role in keeping the economy going – especially over the summer months when working parents struggle with the rising costs of childcare and grandparents step in to save the day."

To claim specified adult childcare credits form CA9176 must be filled out on GOV. UK. Both the individual claiming and the parent transferring the credit will need to sign the form.