News articles - 2023

Could you boost your state pension? – family childcare credits

Date: 10 August 2023

If, before reaching state pension age, you cared for a young family member while their parents were at work, Specified Adult Childcare credits could boost your state pension by £1,000s. These credits fill in gaps you may have in your national insurance record, which is what dictates your state pension amount.


Specified Adult Childcare credits work by transferring the weekly credit that a parent or carer gets as Child Benefit to a family member that takes care of their child. This was introduced from April 6 2011 and can be claimed from that date. You could receive one credit for each week or part-week that you looked after your young family member, and if you provided care over the phone or video during COVID-19, you could still apply for credits for this time.


Can I apply?

You can apply if:


  • you are an eligible family member who looked after a child under 12
  • you were over 16 and under State Pension age when you looked after them
  • you are a UK resident (not including the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man)
  • the child’s parent has claimed Child Benefit but does not need the credits themselves
  • the child’s parent agrees to your application by counter-signing the form


You should not apply for credits for the same period you already have a qualifying year of National Insurance for, or are already receiving Child Benefit for.


What information do I need?

To complete an application form, you will need:


  • your personal details
  • the child’s details and a record of when you looked after them
  • the personal details of the child’s parent or main carer
  • both you and the child’s parent or main carer to sign the application form


The child’s parent or main carer should also check their National Insurance record online to ensure they have credits to transfer. You must wait until October 31 after the end of the tax year you want to apply for.


How do I apply?

Fill in the Application For Specified Adult Childcare Credits, then print and post it to HMRC, using the address on the form.


To find more information, take a look at the Government guidance here.