Caring for others and the impact on your pension

Sometimes people need to stop working or reduce their hours so they can care for family or friends. There are many reasons why you might need to do this. Find out some of the things to consider and the organisations that might be able to help.

Things to consider

Many people consider stopping work or reducing their hours to care for others, either permanently or temporarily.

Although the first thing on your mind won’t be your pension or retirement savings, there are some things to consider that might help you financially in the long term.

It’s important to think about how stopping work or reducing your hours will affect your private or workplace pension.

State Pension

To receive a full State Pension when you retire, you must have paid National Insurance for a minimum number of years.

You might be able to get National Insurance credits if you’re not working, and you usually you need to be claiming certain State benefits.

These credits can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record. This protects your entitlement to:

  • the State Pension
  • contributory working age benefits
  • bereavement benefits for your partner.

The following people can normally claim a National Insurance credit in certain circumstances:

  • carers
  • parents and foster carers
  • a family member who cares for a child (usually while the parent or main carer is working)
  • those getting maternity, paternity or adoption pay.

If you’re not entitled to a National Insurance credit, you might be able to pay Voluntary National Insurance contributions

State benefits

It’s important to make sure that you understand what support you might be entitled to from the State. 

You, or the person you’re caring, for might be entitled to different benefits and allowances.

It’s important to claim as soon as possible so you don’t lose out on any benefits.

Organisations that can help

There are many organisations that can help if you care for another person, including:

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
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Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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