Thousands of grandparents could be missing out on a little-known benefit that could boost their state pension by tens of thousands of pounds.

If elderly relatives care for their grandchildren, they could be entitled to Specified Adult Childcare credits, awarded when parents of the children sign over their National Insurance (NI) credits.

Research from St James's Place (SJP) revealed 150,000 grandparents could be missing out on the boost.

Specified Adult Childcare credits work by transferring the NI credit attached to Child Benefit from the Child Benefit recipient to a family member who is providing care for a related child under 12.


You can apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits if:

  • you are a grandparent, or other family member caring for a child under 12
  • you were over 16, and under state pension age when you cared for the child
  • you are ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, meaning England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
  • the child’s parent (or main carer) is entitled to Child Benefit and has a qualifying year for National Insurance without needing the parent’s class 3 NI credits which they receive automatically from Child Benefit (they can check their National Insurance record online to see if they have any gaps in contributions)
  • the child’s parent (or main carer) agrees to your application by countersigning the form to confirm that:
  • you cared for their child for the period stated
  • you can have the Class 3 NI credit for the period stated

Martin Lewis has previously alerted grandparents to the “little-known benefit” that could add thousands on to their state pensions.

Taking to Twitter, the Money Saving Expert said: “Please share. There’s a little-known benefit for grandparents who look after their grandchildren while parents work.

“If you are a parent of an under 12, and if your parent (ie child’s grandparent) do childcare so you can work, you can apply to them Specified Adult Childcare Credit.

“This means they get the National Insurance years that normally go to a parent who is off work looking after children (as you are working you will usually be getting from work).

“This can add £1,000s to a state pension.”

To apply for Specified Adult Childcare credits you will need to complete an application form here.

The application requires the:

  • personal details of the applicant – the family member caring for the child
  • child’s details and the periods of care
  • personal details of the child’s parent (or main carer) – the Child Benefit recipient
  • applicant and the parent must both sign their declarations on the application