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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Home Responsibilities Protection: what was HRP and who qualified for it: summary of relevant legislation for Great Britain

The GB legislation for HRP is listed below. For corresponding legislation and orders that exist for Northern Ireland, see NIM41316.

  1. Sections 141 - 147 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (“SSCBA 1992”) set out the basis of the Child Benefit Scheme. Schedules 9 and 10 set out some specific provisions on entitlement to Child Benefit.
  2. Sections 43-55 and Schedules 4 - 5A of SSCBA 1992 set out the detailed provisions in relation to the calculation of the basic State Pension and Additional (State Second) Pension.
  3. Sections 21 - 23 of SSCBA 1992 - set out the general framework for entitlement to contributory benefits. The two specific contribution conditions that need to be met for entitlement to the basic State Pension and bereavement benefits are set out in Part 1 of Schedule 3 of SSCBA 1992. Only the second contribution condition (i.e. the requisite number of qualifying years) is relevant to HRP.
  4. Paragraph 5(7)(b) of Schedule 3 to the SSCBA 1992 - provides for the second contribution condition for the basic State Pension and bereavement benefit to be satisfied (up to a maximum of 20 years) if the relevant person was precluded from regular employment by responsibilities at home. Paragraph 5(7) (b) allows for the making of regulations to define “precluded from regular employment”.

The following regulations define “precluded from regular employment”:

  1. The Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1978 (SI 1978/508) provided for the first time a set of conditions that a person needed to satisfy in order to be considered as being “precluded from regular employment” and therefore eligible for HRP. The conditions were that the person was in receipt of child benefit or was caring for a person (for at least 35 hours a week) who was entitled to certain prescribed benefits or was in receipt themselves of benefit as a carer on a low income.
  2. The Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities and Miscellaneous Amendments) Amendments Regulations 1988, (SI 1988/623) amended the conditions as set out in the 1978/508 regulations so that - a person could qualify for HRP if, during a complete tax year, they were entitled to a combination of child benefit or Income Support as a carer and caring for a person (for at least 35 hours a week who was entitled to certain prescribed benefits for at least 48 weeks, during that year.
  3. The Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) Regulations 1994 (SI 1994/704) (”the 1994 regulations”) - consolidated and amended provisions contained in the 1978/508 regulations and revokes the whole of the 1988/623 regulations. These regulations relaxed the conditions subject to which a person may qualify for HRP and made new provisions for HRP to be available to married women and widows who did not work and who, between 6 April 1975 and 5 April 1980, had elected to pay reduced rate Class 1 contributions. Such women had previously been ineligible for HRP.
  4. The Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/1265) amended the 1994 regulations by inserting a new paragraph clarifying the position where Child Benefit first becomes payable on the first Monday of a tax year.
  5. The Additional Pension and Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/1323) provided for HRP to be taken into account for the calculation of a person’s Additional (State Second) Pension. These regulations also specified a time limit for claims made for HRP on or after 6 April 2002 by a person who was regularly engaged in caring, for at least 35 hours per week, for a person to whom prescribed benefits were payable for at least 48 weeks of the relevant tax year. The time limit was 3 years immediately following the end of the relevant tax year
  6. The Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) Amendment Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/1767) amended the 1994 Regulations to extend the availability of HRP to approved foster parents (or kinship carers in Scotland) from 6 April 2003 and any subsequent tax year up to 5 April 2010 throughout which they were an approved foster or kinship carer.
  7. The Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/48) amended the 1994 Regulations to allow that, where the Child Benefit award was transferred to a new claimant within the first 3 months of a tax year, the new claimant was to be treated for the purposes of HRP as if they were entitled to Child Benefit from the start of the relevant tax year. This change applied from the beginning of the 2004/5 tax year onwards,
  8. The Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/498) further amended the 1994 Regulations to allow the transfer of HRP between partners, spouses and civil partners who were residing together and sharing the care of a child under 16 where the person awarded Child Benefit does not need the protection themselves. This change applies from the 2007/8 tax year onwards and only applies to those who reach pensionable age on or after 6 April 2008.