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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Home Responsibilities Protection: what was HRP and who qualified for it: what HRP did

HRP was awarded to individuals who met the qualifying conditions for tax years from 6 April 1978 to 5 April 2010. From 6 April 2010 HRP was replaced by Contributions Credits for Parents and Carers. For further information on Contributions Credits for Parents and Carers see NIM41250 onwards. HRP

  • protected a person’s entitlement to basic State Pension or their spouse’s or civil partner’s entitlement to bereavement benefits,
  • could be awarded for complete tax years in which they were unable to work or their earnings were low because they were caring for a child or sick or disabled person,
  • could be awarded automatically or had to be applied for, depending on the grounds for entitlement,
  • could, in some circumstances, earn a person extra pension through the State Second Pension for the period from 6 April 2003 - 5 April 2010
  • could only be used in respect of years that were not already qualifying years for benefit, and
  • was not normally available to women for any years in which they have a valid “married woman’s or widow’s reduced rate election (see NIM30000 for more information on elections).

However, a woman who throughout the period beginning on 6 April 1975 and ending on 5 April 1980, had no earnings in respect of which primary Class 1 contributions were payable and was not at any time a self-employed earner (i.e. they did not work) could claim HRP from 6 April 1978 even if they had a valid reduced rate election for those years. See NIM41325.

HRP did not give a Contribution Credit so does not appear as “earnings” on the contributor’s NPS account. Instead, if required, HRP reduced the number of qualifying years a person needed to earn 100% basic State Pension, see NIM41410. However, for a full basic State Pension, HRP could not reduce the number of qualifying years below 20.

The complete tax years in respect of which a person satisfies the conditions for HRP were recorded on their NPS account whether or not they might be needed for benefit purposes.

Decisions on entitlement to HRP are made by HMRC on behalf of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions see NIM41320.