Up to 20,000 armed forces spouses may be eligible for a new National Insurance credit if they have previously joined their partners on an overseas posting, ensuring that they don’t miss out on their State Pension.
People who have accompanied spouses and civil partners may have been unable to work while abroad, and therefore unable to make National Insurance contributions. Gaps in contributions can seriously reduce the amount of money people receive when they reach State Pension age. As the new State Pension is based on people’s own National Insurance record, the credit will give people the opportunity to cover contributions missed by periods spent abroad dating back to 1975.
Minister for Pensions, Baroness Ros Altmann said:
Our armed forces protect our country and it is only right that in turn, we help protect their partners’ ability to receive the full State Pension when they reach State Pension age.
This new credit will help ensure people who choose to support their partners abroad don’t miss out on a good State Pension.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
We are making sure that military spouses and partners who spend time based overseas get the State Pension they deserve.
This is the latest step under the armed forces covenant to ensure that service personnel and their families are treated fairly.
The new credit has been taken forward under the armed forces covenant, which states that members of the armed forces and their families should receive fair treatment from the nation which they serve.
On 6 April 2010, the government introduced a National Insurance credit for which an accompanying spouse or civil partner on an overseas posting can apply. Applications must be made by the end of the tax year following the one in which the posting ends. It is still possible to apply for this credit which may also help if the spouse or civil partner wants to claim a working age benefit.
The new credit
The new credit covers the years spent abroad from 6 April 1975 onwards and counts towards the new State Pension.
For information about the new credit and how to apply, visit www.gov.uk/dwp/ni-credits-armed-forces-partners