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Important Update from HMRC: Home Responsibilities Protection and State Pension Entitlement

By August 22, 2023August 24th, 20236 Comments

In a recent communication from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), significant information regarding Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) and its impact on National Insurance records and State Pension entitlement has been brought to light. This development may have far-reaching implications for individuals’ retirement plans, particularly for women in their 60s and 70s who are most likely to be affected.

The Issue

Certain individuals may find that their National Insurance records lack the necessary Home Responsibilities Protection, which can subsequently influence their State Pension calculations. To address this issue, HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are collaboratively working to rectify affected records and ensure that individuals receive their rightful State Pension amounts.

Who is Potentially Affected?

The crux of the matter lies in cases where individuals claimed Child Benefit before May 2000 but failed to provide their National Insurance number during the claim process. As a result, their National Insurance records might not accurately reflect the qualifying years of Home Responsibilities Protection. Consequently, their State Pension entitlement may be adversely affected. This issue primarily affects women in their 60s and 70s.

However, it’s crucial to note that individuals who initiated their Child Benefit claims after May 2000 are not susceptible to this concern. This is due to the correct recording of Class 3 National Insurance credits for parents and carers (CPC) and partial periods of Home Responsibilities Protection.

The Way Forward

To address this matter, HMRC has taken proactive steps. Starting from Autumn 2023, individuals who are likely to be affected will receive communication from HMRC, inviting them to utilise an online tool being developed for this purpose. Through this tool, individuals can determine if they meet the criteria for making a claim for Home Responsibilities Protection.

HMRC plans to reach out to potentially affected individuals in phases, prioritising those who are closest to reaching State Pension age. This approach ensures that those who are over State Pension age will be contacted first.

What Individuals Should Do

Crucially, individuals who believe they may be impacted need not contact the DWP or HMRC directly. Instead, once the online tool is made available, they can use it to check their eligibility for claiming Home Responsibilities Protection. HMRC will notify individuals and provide a link to the tool once it’s operational. In case individuals are eligible, they can proceed to make their claim online.

It’s noteworthy that additional support will be accessible for those who require assistance throughout this process.

This latest update from HMRC underscores the importance of Home Responsibilities Protection in relation to National Insurance records and State Pension entitlement. The collaboration between HMRC and DWP to rectify affected records showcases their commitment to ensuring fair and accurate pension calculations for affected individuals. For those who may be impacted, staying informed and utilising the forthcoming online tool can be key steps in securing their rightful State Pension entitlement.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Maureen Katherine Wright says:

    I don’t know whether I can get this HRP

    • Jennifer Warr says:

      It has been discovered that the system in place hasn’t accurately recorded HRP credits for some mothers, and in some cases women who took time out of work to raise children have been underpaid their State Pension over the course of their retirement.

      If you think you qualified for HRP between 1978 and 2010 check your National Insurance record to ensure you received the correct NI credits due. Please go to the GOV.UK website to check;

      Who qualified?

      You should got HRP automatically, if

      • You received Child Benefit in your name for a child under the age of 16, and the Child Benefit Office had your National Insurance number


      • You received Income Support and did not need to register for work, because you were caring for someone who was sick or disabled

      You should apply if

      • You regularly spent at least 35 hours a week looking after someone who was claiming Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate for personal care, or Constant Attendance Allowance


      • You were a foster carer throughout a full tax year, you didn’t receive Child Benefit, and either you weren’t in paid employment, or you didn’t earn enough in a tax year for it to count towards a basic State Pension

      Changes since April 2010

      For people reaching State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010, complete tax years of Home Responsibilities Protection built up before 2010, up to a maximum of 22 years, have been converted into qualifying years towards your state pension and bereavement benefits.

      From 6 April 2010, parents and carers can build up qualifying years through new weekly credits for the basic State Pension and additional State Pension. In this case, you will receive a credit for each week in which:

      • you get Child Benefit for children aged under 12

      • you are an approved foster carer

      • you spend 20 hours or more caring for someone who gets Attendance Allowance, or the middle-rate or highest-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, or Constant Attendance Allowance, or the need for care has been certified


      • If you get Carer’s Allowance you will get NI credits and will not usually need HRP.

      • If you are a woman, you cannot get HRP for any year when you were entitled to pay reduced NI contributions for married women and widows, while you were working.

      How to claim

      Information leaflet and claim form CF411 “How to protect your State Pension if you are looking after someone at home.” is available from your local Jobcentre Plus office.

      You can download a claim form here

      If you need help we would suggest you contact Citizens Advice

  • Pauline Brown says:

    I have applied for and been granted this HRP in October 2023. However, nothing has been implemented and indeed my national insurance record has not been updated by HMRC and at present February 2024. There is no next step indicated! Where do I go next?

    • Jennifer Warr says:

      Hi Pauline,

      It can take a while for HMRC to update your NI record. We would suggest you call them on 0300 200 3500 to ask them for an update.

      Kind regards,
      David Lever

  • Carol wheeldon says:

    i applied and on the 15/1/2024 received a response advising i should hear within 15 days , To date [09/02/2024 i have heard nothing . What should i do , i have hearing and sight problems this is very difficult . Thank yu .

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