Child Benefit warning: Parents could accidentally waste state pension entitlement boost | Personal Finance | Finance

Child Benefit isn’t a means-tested benefit, meaning a person who is responsible for bringing up a child who is either under 16 or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training can get it. Claiming Child Benefit may mean some people’s individual income causes them to be subject to the High Income Child Benefit tax Charge (HICBC), however.

For any additional children, it is £13.95 per child.

It is important to be aware the benefit cap may affect the total amount of benefits a person can get, and this includes Child Benefit.

In addition to the payment itself, it’s possible for claimants to receive National Insurance credits.

This is if the child is under the age of 12, and the recipient is either not working or doesn’t earn enough to pay National Insurance contributions.

These can then count towards the state pension, as they enable some to avoid gaps in their National Insurance record.

Usually, a person needs at least 10 qualifying years on their National Insurance to get any state pension.

Those who don’t have a National Insurance record before April 6, 2016 need to have 35 qualifying years in order to get the full new state pension.

It may be a person gets less than the full new state pension if they were contracted out before April 6, 2016.

“You may get more than the new full State Pension if you would have had over a certain amount of Additional State Pension under the old rules,” the government adds.

The government’s Child Benefit guidance warns Britons that it’s important to consider who claims Child Benefit, due to the National Insurance credits.

“Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, so you need to decide whether it’s better for you or the other parent to claim,” it states.

“The person who claims will get National Insurance credits towards their state pension if they are not working or earn less than £166 per week.”

It’s something which Kay Ingram, Director of Public Policy at national financial planning group LEBC has commentated on.

“Parents who receive Child Benefit automatically get a credit for the state pension until their youngest child is 12 (aged 17 if the child is registered disabled),” she told

“This is credited to the parent who claims the benefit.

“Where one parent is not in paid employment or self-employment and paying national insurance, it is important that they make the claim for child benefit or the credit is wasted.

“To transfer the credit from one parent to the other DWP form CF411A from should be used.”

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