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Pensions boost for carers

For the first time, it will be possible for an unpaid carer looking after a loved one to build up a full basic State Pension based entirely on National Insurance credits. The Department for Work and Pensions and Carers UK are calling on carers across the country to find out if they could benefit.

April 2010 will see the introduction of the new Carer’s Credit that will count towards their basic and second State Pension. People may not recognise the help they give, unpaid, to a disabled, ill or family member as ‘caring’ but they are being encouraged to come forward if they are looking after someone for at least 20 hours a week, as they could benefit from the new Credit.

Minister of State for Pensions and Ageing Society Angela Eagle said: “We want people to tell us if they, or people they know, are looking after somebody for more than 20 hours a week, so they benefit from this change. The State Pension is everyone’s foundation of financial security in later life and therefore, it’s only right that caring for others should be counted towards it.”

Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK said: “We know saving for your retirement years won’t be your priority when you suddenly find yourself caring for a loved one. But there are simple steps you can take to secure your State Pension that will protect your long-term future as you care for others.”

For more information please contact the advice and support team on 020 7708 4497

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