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Spend & Save

Money Alert: Granny credit


Adults lumbered with the grandchildren this summer could be missing a trick that could help boost their state pension. Half of Britain's seven million working-age grandparents have a young grandchild and can qualify for Class 3 National Insurance credits for looking after children aged under 12 — which can be used to top up their income in retirement.

Applications for NI credits need to be made to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and must be signed by both the adult carer and the Child Benefit recipient. Grandparents who cared for grandchildren in the tax year 2011/12 can apply for credits now.

There is no minimum requirement for the number of hours of care in a week as long as the credit is transferred for a full week. For details of who can apply and how, visitgov.uk/national-insurance-credits/eligibility or phone the National Insurance Helpline on 0845 302 1479.