Childcare is becoming an increasingly challenging problem for parents and more and more grandparents are supporting their children by helping with childcare whilst their parents work.  Research carried out by Age UK in 2017 revealed that just over a *fifth (22%) of circa five million grandparents who provided regular care for their grandchildren stopped work or reduced their hours in order to do so.

According to government figures, less than 10% of those eligible to do so are claiming their National insurance credits. National Insurance credits may help to fill in any gaps in their National Insurance record. This can mean that they will still get the full State Pension and other benefits

Do your parents help you with childcare?

Are your parents planning to finish work before their retirement age to help you with childcare?

Are they under state retirement age?

Are they or will they be looking after children under the age of 12?

Are they aware that they may be missing out on valuable future state pension and they may be entitled to claim benefit for National insurance credits as if they had been working themselves?

How to claim

Claims for each tax year can be submitted from the October following its end – so claims for the tax year ending on 5 April can be made from October later that year. However, it is also possible to claim retrospectively for years in which you were eligible but didn’t make a claim. In theory, you can go all the way back to the 2011-2012 tax year when the credit was first introduced – assuming that your caring duties go back that far. That could add around £1,000 to your basic state-pension entitlement, on top of the estimated £5,000 over a typical 20-year retirement that a single year’s claim could net.

To claim the credit, use the CA9176 form, available online from HM Revenue & Customs. The same form can also be used to make a claim for credits from previous years. A separate scheme exists for parents caring for children under the age of 12, who are also entitled to claim National Insurance credits while they are out of the workplace – see below for details.

*The percentages are from the YouGov data and the grossed figures are based on the total number of grandparents aged 50 and over in the UK and calculated by Age UK. (page 3).

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