Woman, 66, told she ‘doesn’t qualify’ for state pension due to National Insurance loophole

People approaching retirement age are being urged to check whether they are entitled to a state pension after a 66-year-old woman was told she “doesn’t qualify”.

The mother of five reached retirement age only to receive a letter informing her she was not entitled to the benefit.

Her son took to Reddit to explain his mother had missed out on National Insurance (NI) credits while raising her five children.

People in Britain need to have at least 10 qualifying years on their NI record to receive a proportion of state pension and 35 years to claim the full amount.

The Express reported that the man commenting on Reddit explained his father had the child benefit in his name.

Seeking advice on the forum r/UKpersonalfinance, he wrote: “My mum has recently reached state pension age. However, she received a letter saying she isn't entitled to one.

“What seems to have happened is, she raised five children but the child benefit for all of us was in my dad's name. So she didn't get the NI credit for raising five children.

“My dad has been employed and self-employed his whole life, and been paying all his NI contributions - from employment and self employment. His NI record shows him paying all relevant NI, and he has the NI stamps from post office to prove it.”

Child benefit counts towards an individual’s NI record so stay-at-home parents can claim credits while raising their children.

The man explained his mother would have amassed 21 years of NI credits for her five children, which would have qualified her for at least part of a state pension.

However his father was only able to transfer nine years’ worth of NI credits to his mother.

He said his parents were immigrants who “would have had no idea” of the consequences of having the child benefit in his father’s name and had not been made aware of the potential issue by the benefits office.

Independent financial advisor Rebecca Robertson told the Express “so many people” have found themselves in similar situations where they reach retirement age.

She suggested people could get hold of a state pension forecast and also explained Britons could buy voluntary National Insurance to plug the gaps in their record.