Many women take a career break to bring up their children.  But how does this affect your State Pension and how can you check that you will receive the correct entitlement?

You will only receive the full amount of State Pension if you have paid or been credited with, National Insurance contributions for 35 years.

You can ‘earn’ credits whilst not working and looking after your children.  You will get National Insurance Credits when you claim Child Benefit until your youngest child is 12 years old.

The credits will automatically be added into your National Insurance Account when you claim Child Benefit, so you don’t need to do anything.

Child benefit is a payment from the government to help you with cost or bringing up your child, which is paid every 4 weeks.  Payments are normally tax-fee as long as neither parent earns more than £50,000 a year.

The Higher Income Child Benefit Charge was introduced from 7th January 2013.  Since this date, couples living together where one person’s income is £50,000 or over have been subject to a tax charge on Child Benefit.  This means that for anyone earning over £60,000 the payment of Child Benefit is effectively wiped out.

HOWEVER, if you or your partner earns more than £60,00 you must still register for Child Benefit, so you qualify for National Insurance Credits.  You can then opt out of receiving payments.

If you are working and getting Child Benefit, you could be building up more credits than you need.  You can transfer your credits to either you partner if they are not working or are on a low income and not paying National Insurance Contributions.

You can also transfer National Insurance credits to Grandparents, or other direct family members if they look after your children under the age of 12 for at least 20 hours a week though you have to apply to have your credit paid to someone else.

We recommend everyone checks their State Pension entitlement regularly to ensure that you have all the correct credited years toward your state pension.  It is easy to check how many years of National Insurance credits you have and what these might give you at the following link: –

Cast Study taken for the Money Advice Service

Rita 69 years old

I have to manage on just over £170 a week – that’s the State Pension, a very small work pension and Pension Credit.  Of course, I didn’t think about pension when the children were growing up.  But now I’m retired and divorced, I wish I had.  If I had my time again, I would definitely make a few sacrifices to be able to put something aside for old age.  You think retirement will sort itself out bit it doesn’t – you have to plan for it.

Should you wish to discuss your future pension planning, then please do contact us at Wingate


T 01883 332260


This article is based on our current understanding of National Insurance Credits.



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