State pensioners may be able to boost payments by £3,600 a year | Personal Finance | Finance

State pensioners may be able to boost their yearly payments increase by up to £3,600.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles have been urged to check if they can get National Insurance credit through Child Benefit.

Since 2011, family members other than parents who are looking after children can get credits toward their National Insurance contributions.

A person who is eligible for the credits since the 2011-12 tax year up until the previous one could get an extra £3,600 in state pension payments.

The way this works is a parent who claims Child Benefit can transfer any unused National Insurance credits – such as if they are paying National Insurance through work – to another person who is helping care for their child.

These people can claim the support:

  • A mother or father who does not live with the child
  • A grandparent, great-grandparent or great-great-grandparent
  • A brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother, step-sister
  • Aunt or uncle.

The support can be claimed regardless of how many hours the child was cared for and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rules were changed so even remote caring qualifies.

If a grandparent looked after a child for one year, they can get an extra year towards their state pension, worh 1/35 of the full new state pension, which is currently worth £203.85 a week.

The state pension is set to increase by a sizeable 8.5 percent next year with some experts wondering if the triple lock will be viable for future years.

Research from Hargreaves Lansdown found almost one in five Britons think the state pension will no longer exist when they retire.

Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at the group, said: “It’s no wonder that all this change means there’s a view, particularly among younger people, that the state pension is under threat.

“Given its importance as the foundation upon which we build the rest of our pension planning, we need to see real long-term thinking in this area with an overarching review to ensure it remains sustainable long-term and allows people to plan their retirement with confidence.”

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