Government says carers missing out on state pension credits

Only 5% of people eligible for Carer’s Credit, which is a substitute for National Insurance contributions and boosts state pension payouts, are claiming them.

Only one in 20 carers who are eligible for National Insurance credits that will boost the amount of state pension they will receive have signed up for them, the government says.

Almost 200,000 people are thought to be eligible for the credits, which have been available since 2010.

Signing up for Carer’s Credit for a year could mean an extra £200 a year in state pension when you retire.

The credits are especially beneficial to women as they make up around two-thirds of those who could claim, while two-thirds are also believed to be over 50 years old.

Baroness Altmann, the pensions minister, has urged carers to check they are getting what they are entitled to, and to spread the word to carers they know.

How to check if you’re eligible

You can claim the credit if you care for others for 20 hours or more a week and do not qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

The person you’re looking after must receive one of the following:

If the person you care for doesn’t get one of these benefits, you could still be eligible. When you apply, fill in the Care Certificate part of the application form and get it signed by a health or social care professional.

It’s easy to apply and doesn’t cost anything. Your income, savings or investments won’t affect eligibility for Carer’s Credit and it won’t affect your ability to qualify for the state pension, either.

Take a look at the GOV.UK Carer’s Credit microsite for more information.