Carers credit could boost future state pensions by more than £200 per year

Currently, only 11,000 people have signed up for the credit, which contributes to their national insurance record, yet around 200,000 are thought to be eligible

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The Independent Online

Only 5 per cent of carers are claiming national insurance credits. But 200,000 could boost their future state pension simply by signing up for carer's credit.

Do so and carers could receive more than £200 extra per year when they retire. Currently, only 11,000 people have signed up for the credit, which contributes to their national insurance record, yet around 200,000 are thought to be eligible.

Carer's credit is designed for those who are looking after others for 20 hours or more each week and do not qualify for carer's allowance, which is available to those who care for 35 hours a week or more.

In particular, older women could benefit. Women make up 130,000, 65 per cent, of those who could be eligible – and two-thirds of those with caring responsibilities who could apply are reckoned to be over 50.

"It is straightforward to apply and doesn't cost anything. There is nothing to lose by signing up and money to gain for the future," said the pensions minister Ros Altmann.

For information on eligibility and how to apply, go to gov.uk/carers-credit/overview.

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