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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Credits: post-1975 credited earnings: credits for parents and carers: overview

Section 23A, Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992

Section 23A provides for the award of contributions credits for relevant parents and carers who reach State Pension age (SPA) on or after 6 April 2010.

These contribution credits can help to build up a contributor’s entitlement to basic State Pension (BSP) or their spouse or civil partner’s entitlement to bereavement benefits.

Contribution credits for parents and carers replaced Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) which was previously used to protect the entitlement position of a contributor who was unable to work or had low earnings because they were caring for a child or a sick or disabled person.

For more information on HRP see NIM41300.

Contributors are credited with a Class 3 National Insurance contribution for each week falling after 6 April 2010 in respect of which they are a relevant carer. See NIM41253 for the definition of a relevant carer.

The maximum number of tax years for which a person can be credited is 22 for entitlement to BSP or half the number of years of their working life for bereavement benefits. A person’s working life is the period between the tax year in which they reach age 16 and the tax year in which they reach SPA or die under that age.

Section 23A also allows for a contributor reaching SPA on or after 6 April 2010 to be given credits for each tax year ending before that date in which he was entitled to HRP. See NIM41420 for more information on the conversion of HRP to credits for tax years before 6 April 2010.