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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Home Responsibilities Protection: what was HRP and who qualified for it: HRP and entitlement to Child Benefit: transfer of HRP for previous tax years from 2008/2009

Regulations 2(aa), 4C and 5, Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) Regulations 1994 (SI 1994/704) (“the 1994 regulations”)

NIM41330 explains that HRP was awarded to a person who, for a complete tax year, had been “awarded” Child Benefit in respect of a child under the age of 16.

It was therefore important for a couple to ensure that Child Benefit was awarded to the partner who would benefit most from the receipt of HRP.

Prior to the 2008/2009 tax year if Child Benefit had been awarded to the person that did not require the protection afforded by HRP, the HRP could not be transferred retrospectively to another person. So if, for example, Child Benefit had been awarded to a husband, the associated HRP could not be transferred to his wife in order to retrospectively afford her the protection - even if it was the wife who had been the person precluded from employment by staying at home to care for the child or children.

The Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/498) amended the 1994 regulations to allow a person to be eligible for HRP if Child Benefit had been awarded to their partner. A partner is defined in the 1994 regulations for this purpose as someone with whom the person claiming eligibility to HRP was residing with and with whom they shared the care of the child under 16 throughout the relevant tax year.

HRP can now therefore be retrospectively transferred to the partner of a person awarded Child Benefit for tax years from 6 April 1978 - 5 April 2010 provided that:

* the person claiming eligibility for HRP reached pensionable age on or after 6 April 2008 (or in the case of a claim for bereavement benefit died on or before that date). 
* an application is made; and
* the person who was awarded the Child Benefit cannot benefit from HRP themselves because their earnings were equal to or above the qualifying earnings factor for the relevant tax year or years.