If you are a grandparent and are missing years to qualify for the full State Pension, then you may be able to apply for National Insurance credits for grandparents.  

You normally need to have paid 35 years of National Insurance contributions to get the full State Pension which at the time of writing is £185.15 per week.  

Many people do not have the full 35 years because they either spent time out of work or ‘contracted out’ during their working life. 

Rather than working the extra years to make up for it or paying a one off top-up amount, check to see if your children can help you out with claiming National Insurance credits for grandparents.  

How to get National Insurance credits for grandparents 

To understand your current position you need to get a copy of your State Pension Forecast. You can do this online via your government gateway account. It’s free and will tell you what you are due and what years you are missing if any.  

If you find you are missing years where you haven’t contributed enough National Insurance then you may be able to claim for the years you helped look after your grandchild.  

To qualify the following must apply: 

  • The child was under 12 during the period you are applying for. 
  • The child’s parent or main carer was receiving Child Benefit credits towards National Insurance contributions during the period you are applying for. 
  • The parent or main carer also worked and received full National Insurance credits during the same year they received Child Benefit credits.   

There is no minimum amount of time you needed to have cared for your grandchild. It could be as simple as you picked them up from school a few times.  

You can currently look back and gain National Insurance Credits for grandparents going all the way back to 6th April 2011. 

The actual specific application is for Specified Adult Childcare credits.  

The application form is really simple and easy to complete. It just needs a few details for you and your grandchild’s parent/carer. Then print it off, both you and the parent/carer sign it and then post it off. 


Why you should top up your State Pension with National Insurance credits for grandparents  

Every full qualifying year adds around £275 per year to your State Pension based on the current rates. If you were able to qualify for the full 12 years for your grandchild then this could boost your State Pension by an extra £3,000 per year.  

Many grandparents might still be working that extra year and delaying their retirement just to ensure they get the full State Pension.  

If this is you and you qualify for National Insurance credits for grandparents then you no longer have to. Your child could help you out for a change! 

Perhaps you have already retired, not yet received your State Pension and are short a few years. You have no way of making up the extra years as you don’t plan to go back to work. If you are a grandparent then this could be a really easy way to top up your State Pension. 

More information on this can be found on the government’s factsheet. 

If you are not a grandparent or you are but don’t qualify then there are still other ways you can top up your State Pension. You will find more information on topping up your State Pension here. 

If you are not sure what to do with your pensions at retirement then please get in touch for a free no obligation 15-minute call. We would be happy to review your position, explain where you stand and what you need to do to get the outcome you desire. We have created hundreds of happy retirements over the years. This could be you too. 

Risk warning:

Stock market linked investments and any income from them, can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. Any figures quoted are for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as a forecast or guarantee. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future returns and clients may get back less than they have invested.