Martin Lewis urges people to claim ‘massive’ state pension top-up – all you need to know

Martin Lewis has urged people to claim a relatively unknown credit that could top-up state pension payments by thousands of pounds. The money expert has shared that older people claiming their pension who are currently looking after their grandchildren, or have done at any point since 2011, could be able to claim a top-up to their state pension.

According to the UK Government website, Specified Adult Childcare credits operate by transferring National Insurance credit attached to Child Benefit from the recipient to another specified adult, essentially passing over the money from one person to another. The credit is not dependent on the number of children under 12 but instead is given directly to one recipient who claims Child Benefit for their household.

Martin shared tips on how to boost state pension payments on a recent episode of the Martin Lewis Money Show. He told his viewers that it is possible to move National Insurance Credit attached to Child Benefits from the recipient to another family member.

READ MORE: Martin Lewis shares simple hack to work out how much money to save every year for retirement

Not just anyone can get the top-up to their payment as it can only be applied if the family member is providing care for a child under the age of 12, or 17 if they have a disability.

The transfer of the National Insurance Credit is also only available if the recipient who is passing money onto the family member does not require the credit themselves.

Martin shared how parents could benefit from the scheme as long as they are working and earning enough money for the National Insurance credit to be applied through their employment.

He added: “If you’ve got gaps in your National Insurance, it can massively boost your state pension once you get into retirement by thousands of pounds over the rest of your life.”

The credit is not available for those already at state pension age but if the person was caring for a child before they reached state pension age then they could backdate the payments as far back as 2011.

He said: “If you are at state pension age and you don’t get the full pension and you did childcare before you hit state pension age then you can backdate it.”

He also highlighted that if you cared for a child during the Covid-19 pandemic by phone or video calls due to a change in childcare arrangements then you can still apply for credits for the 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021 tax years.

One viewer called Rosemary contacted the Martin Lewis Money Show to share her success story of boosting her state pension payments.

Rosemary wrote: “I was alerted to this a few years ago by you. I managed to get credits for three full years which is enough to give me a full state pension, due to start in a couple of weeks.

“The process was quite simple and confirmation quite quick. Well worth the bit of effort. Thanks.”

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