Interactive Investor

Do my childcaring years count towards my state pension?

15th August 2018 10:58

Michelle Cracknell from interactive investor


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“I came to the UK in 1996 but had a young family, so did not work. We received child benefit for a few years but then, due to changes in the rules as my husband has a high income, we stopped getting it.In 2016, my youngest left for university and I started my own jewellery business. Until now, I have not made a big enough profit to pay national insurance contributions (NICs), but I don’t want to miss out on a state pension.We understand there is some consideration for mothers with small children in the form of no NICs to pay, with the years spent on looking after the children counting for the state pension. What are my options? I am already 53 years old.”

From: RB/Burton-on-Trent


In order to be entitled to a full state pension, you need to have paid national insurance or received credits for 35 years. Your state pension age is 67, so you have 14 more years where your NICs will count toward your state pension.

You will have received credits for the periods when you were not working but were caring for children. You will also receive credits if you have registered for child allowance but have opted not to receive it because of the level of your husband’s earnings.

You can find out how many years credit you already have by asking for a state pension forecast. You can do this at

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.

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