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NEW CREDIT WELCOMED AS CARERS FEAR FOR PENSIONS

01 April 2010
Research shows over half of carers worry their State Pension has been affected as a result of caring for a loved-one

Carers UK has welcomed the new Carer's Credit, coming into force next week, which will protect the State Pensions of carers who have given up work to care for ill, frail or disabled friends or family members.

1 million people have given up work or reduced working hours to care for an ill or disabled relative[1], which could mean they may no longer be receiving enough National Insurance contributions to qualify them for a full State Pension when they retire.

57% of carers in new Carers UK research believed their State Pension had been affected by caring, with a third (33%) admitting they had 'no idea' what would happen with their State Pension in the future.

The new Carer's Credit awards carers with National Insurance contributions to protect their State Pension even if they are not also in paid work. Carer's Allowance, the main carers' benefit, already protects carers' State Pensions, but many carers miss out on Carer's Allowance because of a variety of eligibility rules.

Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: "This new credit will protect the pensions of many carers who currently miss out on Carer's Allowance. Carers often struggle to find the time to think about their long-term future, but we would encourage all carers to seek expert advice on how they can improve their pension prospects. Carers make a massive contribution to our society and we must make sure they are getting all the financial support they can now, and in retirement."

-ENDS-

Contact:

Steve McIntosh, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, Carers UK

Tel: 0207 378 4937, Mob: 07505 184 262, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to Editors:

The Carer's Credit:

The Carer's Credit protects carer's pensions to make sure when they reach retirement they don't face a reduced State pension.

In order to qualify for the new Carer's Credit carers must be aged 18-64 and caring for 20 hours a week for someone who gets Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance. If the person they care for does not get either of these benefits the carer would need a health or social care professional to confirm the care they provide is appropriate.

There are a number of groups of carers who may benefit. These include carers who are missing out on Carer's Allowance because they:

don't care for 35 hours or more per week

look after someone who isn't claiming disability benefits

care for a disabled or ill person where someone else is claiming Carer's Allowance for looking after them

look after several people but don't care for just one of them for 35 hours or more

care for a person who has gone into hospital or a care home and whose disability benefits have therefore stopped

Carers who are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance might also benefit from extra contributions to their pension if they claim Carer's Credit

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