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Pensions: Carers

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to improve the state pension entitlement of people who stay at home to care for (a) children and (b) elderly relatives. (159069)

People who are bringing up children or caring for severely disabled people can already protect their state pension through measures such as Home Responsibilities Protection and carer’s allowance credits.

The Pensions Act 2007 makes further changes that will make it easier for people with caring responsibilities to build up state pension provision and will ensure that caring contributions are valued equally with paid contributions. This includes the replacement of Home Responsibilities Protection with weekly national insurance credits for those receiving child benefit for children aged up to 12, approved foster carers and those caring for severely disabled people for at least 20 hours a week. These credits will give entitlement to both the basic state pension and state second pension.

These changes will extend state pension coverage and provide simpler and fairer state pensions for carers, including those people who stay at home to look after children or to care for severely disabled people such as elderly relatives.