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People caring for grandchildren being encouraged to apply for pension help.

PEOPLE CARING FOR Many grandparents who help to care for their grandchildren could be missing out on valuable credits towards their state pension, figures suggest.

Some 10,084 applications for help were approved between October 2017 and September 2018, figures obtained under a freedom of information (FOI) request to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show.

There has been a jump in take-up of the scheme compared with 2015-16, when a previous FOI request found 1,298 people were benefiting.

But Royal London, which obtained the figures, believes they are still a fraction of the numbers who could be eligible.

The scheme is called specified adult childcare credits, and other family members can also apply.

A family member who is looking after a child under 12 while the parents are at work can benefit from a national insurance credit.

Such credits are added to the national insurance record of the grandparent or other family member if they are still under state pension age.

This can help them build up a full state pension if they do not have enough years of contributions.

People generally need to have 35 years of national insurance contributions to get the full new state pension.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 20, 2019
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