Carer’s Allowance claimants can boost state pension forecast with credit worth £260 a year

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Carer’s Allowance is paid as a flat rate of £67.25 per week, although it is important to be aware it can affect other benefits that both the claimant and the person receiving the care get. To qualify, there are a number of eligibility criteria to meet.

However, one doesn’t need to be related to or live with the person being cared for to get the payment.

In addition to the weekly payment – which may be subject to Income Tax if the recipient’s income is over their Personal Allowance – carers may be able to get additional forms of support.

Among other benefits, they may be able to apply for grants and bursaries to help pay for course and training, support from their local council. Universal Credit, or a Council Tax Reduction.

Furthermore, for each week a person gets Carer’s Allowance, they will automatically get National Insurance credits.

This is something which Kay Ingram, Director of Public Policy at national financial planning group LEBC, has recently addressed.

It came as the chartered financial planner highlighted a number of different ways people are able to boost their state pension forecast.

In a new series of regular alerts, Ms Ingram addressed ways to increase state pension entitlement – with many opportunities costing nothing whatsoever.

And, while retirement may not be on one’s mind right now, Ms Ingram is reminding people of all ages to pay attention to the contributory benefit.

“Individual entitlement is based on National Insurance contributions, which are typically paid via PAYE for employees, with the self-employed paying class 2 NI contributions,” she said.

Ms Ingram explained it’s possible to get a forecast online via the government’s “Check your State Pension forecast” tool, or by calling the Future Pension Centre, enabling people to establish how much they may expect to get.

To get any new state pension at all, people will usually nee at least 10 qualifying years on their National Insurance record.

That said, these don’t need to be 10 qualifying years in a row.

It means that either for 10 years, a person was doing at least one or more of the following:

Working and paying National Insurance contributions

Getting National Insurance credits – such as if they were unemployed, ill or a parent or carer

Paying voluntary National Insurance contributions.

Currently, the full new state pension is £175.20 per week.

However, the actual amount that one gets depends on their National Insurance record.

If a person didn’t make National Insurance contributions or get National Insurance credits before April 6 2016, then their state pension will be calculated entirely under the new rules.

It means these people will need 35 qualifying years to get the full new state pension.

For those who have gaps in their National Insurance (NI) record, there are a whole host of ways to rectify this.

This includes Carer’s Credit for those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance.

“If in receipt of Carer’s Allowance a credit for NI contributions will automatically be available,” she said.

“Each year’s credit currently provides £260 per annum of state pension.”

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