Little-known HMRC benefit can boost your pension payment | Personal Finance | Finance

A little-known credit from HM Revenue and Customs could provide a financial boost for those caring for children. Over the past eight years, 150,000 applications have been made for Specified Adult Childcare Credits (SACCs), according to wealth manager and financial adviser Quilter.

SACCs allow the transfer of the national insurance (NI) credit that a child benefit recipient receives to an eligible family member, helping to fill gaps in NI records and potentially increasing pension payments. If you’re looking after a relative’s child who is under 12, you’re below state pension age, and the child’s parents agree, you can receive this credit.

Even if you provided care in the past, you can still claim as long as you were below pension age at the time of care. Claims can be backdated all the way to 2011.

Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter, said: “These credits are not only crucial for securing the full state pension if you have gaps in your national insurance record, but they are also a cost-effective method of doing so, versus paying to fill in missed years.

“It’s worth knowing too that the number of hours a grandparent helps out with childcare is irrelevant to the claim. Even if it’s just one day a week, eligible grandparents should be able to claim.

“More needs to be done to highlight that these credits are available and to educate people on how to correctly apply so they avoid rejection.”

Complete information can be found on the HMRC website.

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