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Eight ways to increase your AOW benefit

State pension payments worth billions of pounds sacrificed because people don’t know they are entitled to them: eight ways to boost yours

State pension benefits worth billions of pounds are being sacrificed because people don’t know they are entitled to them, a report found.

For each year that you work and pay the national insurance benefits, you accrue state pension entitlement worth approximately £ 260 per year.

If there are gaps, you can correct them by making voluntary contributions for any of the past six years. But there are also eight ways you can earn AOW credit when you’re not working, many of which are often overlooked.

Looking ahead, for every year you work and pay national insurance, you will build up an entitlement to your state pension worth about £ 260 per year

Looking ahead, for every year you work and pay national insurance, you will build up an entitlement to your state pension worth about £ 260 per year

In fact, according to former Pensions Secretary Steve Webb, there are so many ways that there are few instances where people of working age don’t deserve them.

Webb, now a partner at the consulting firm Lane Clark & ​​Peacock that carried out the study, tells the old joke about only ‘poets and prisoners’ who don’t get National Insurance credit. “You can go online and view your national insurance file,” he says. If there are gaps, you have to ask yourself why. Virtually everyone should be covered by one of the claims. These are the eight ways in which you may have built up your AOW entitlement without realizing it. Some claims can be reversed by three months, others up to 1975, so it’s worth contacting Revenue & Customs if you think you owe credit.

You can view your file at www.gov.uk/check-state-pension.

1. Anyone who is out of work to care for a child under the age of 12 can be entitled to an AOW benefit. But you don’t necessarily get them automatically, and thousands of parents miss out every year. Due to a quirk in the system, in order to receive retirement credits, you have to claim child support even if you don’t qualify for it.

In addition, pension credits are awarded to any parent who completes the form to receive child support. If the working parent signs up, the credits will be lost because they are already receiving credits through work. As a result of this dropout, approximately 200,000 parents do not receive a pension supplement, which means they run the risk of having a worse pension.

2. If you’re delivering a grandchild at school or providing childcare by phone or online because of Covid restrictions, you may qualify for an AOW raise. To be eligible, grandparents are not allowed to work, be of state pension age and care for a child under the age of 12. Aunts, uncles and other close relatives may also qualify.

3. If you are a carer for someone with a disability for at least 20 hours a week, you may be entitled to AOW credits. If you apply for an informal care allowance, you will automatically receive credits. If you don’t, you must request them. Thousands of carers are unaware of this and are missing out.

4. State pension credits are awarded to anyone who receives statutory maternity, paternity or adoption allowance. But if your income is less than the limit for paying national insurance contributions, you must file a claim with the tax authorities.

5. If you receive statutory sickness benefit, you will automatically receive credits. However, if the amount you receive is lower than the lower income threshold for National Insurance, you must submit an application to the Tax Authorities and Customs.

6. If you don’t have a job, but are looking for work, you should get retirement credits. You may need to apply for them if you are not eligible for a job seeker benefit, a labor support benefit, or a universal credit.

7. State pension credits are granted to anyone accompanying their spouse who works in the armed forces and is sent abroad. You can make a claim for any period dating back to April 6, 1975.

8. If you go to court for jury duty, you can claim credits for that period. You can also claim if you were in prison, but later had a criminal offense destroyed.


More than three-quarters of workers don’t know what income they will get from retirement when they retire, a new survey shows. In fact, half have no idea how many pension pots they have and could lose out on pension wealth, according to the findings of consumer website MoneyMagpie and online pension provider PensionBee.

About 45 percent say they rely on an AOW for their retirement income. Jasmine Birtles, money expert and founder of MoneyMagpie, says: “I am really sorry to see that nearly half of the population intends to turn to the state pension to keep them alive later.

“I would like everyone to have enough money to enjoy themselves and the freedom to stop working if they want to. Just putting a little more into a pension and investment every month, such as an Isa, can make all the difference.