Expert Gareth Shaw offers advice on building entitlement to the state pension
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State Pension payments usually form an important part of someone’s income in later life. However, many will be looking to supplement this, often turning to their own savings or other forms of financial support for help. The state pension is based on the amount of National Insurance contributions a person puts forward throughout their lifetime.
Thus, securing the full amount is likely to be a major preoccupation for people right across the country.
However, analysis has shown many individuals could in fact be missing out on a prime opportunity to increase their state pension payments.
Some 150,000 people are thought to not be claiming a credit which could provide them with significant financial help.
The organisation Quilter submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, which illustrated only 5,209 people claimed Carer’s Credit in 2020.
This was a drop from the 6,489 claims which were submitted in the previous year.
The Government explains: “Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record.
“Your income, savings or investments will not affect eligibility for Carer’s Credit.”
Individuals could be able to get Carer’s Credit if they are caring for someone for at least 20 hours per week.
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To be eligible, one must be:
- Aged 16 or over
- Under state pension age
- Looking after one or more people for at least 20 hours a week
The person someone is looking after also must receive one of a number of state benefits.
These include Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance (at the middle or highest rate), PIP (daily living, at the standard or enhanced rate) or Armed Forces Independence Payment.
Some others may still be able to get Carer’s Credit and are encouraged to look into the matter further.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people needed to take on unpaid care work for friends or loved ones.
Many more people, therefore, could be eligible for Carer’s Credit, but are not currently claiming.
Quilter has explained what Britons could be missing out on if they do not action a claim.
The organisation stated each annual credit missed may cost a person 1/35th of the value of the state pension.
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When calculated, this could add up to £5,200 over the course of a typical retirement – 20 years.
To claim, Britons can download the Carer’s Credit claim form via the Government’s official website.
This form includes a Care Certificate – which individuals will need to ask a health or social care professional to sign.
Alternatively, people can also call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297 if they do not have internet access, or prefer this method of communication.
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