A MARTIN Lewis fan has revealed how the expert’s little-known tip helped them to boost their state pension by £7,000.
In the latest MoneySavingExpert newsletter, a reader named David shared how his wife managed to fill gaps in her state pension record.
He said his wife has a ten-year gap in her records because her low-paying job meant she didn’t pay any national insurance.
If you don’t fill in the gaps you could end up missing out on the full state pension when you retire, which at the moment is worth £203.85 a week or £10,608 a year .
This is set to increase in April by £17.35 to to £221.20 – the equivalent to £901 a year.
But thanks to a handy tip from Martin Lewis, David realised that he could transfer the NI credits he had earned by claiming child benefit to his wife.
Writing to MSE, he said: “We’d been thinking about making voluntary contributions, then I read your Child Benefit missing years article and realised as I’d been claiming Child Benefit, I could transfer all the Child Benefit credits to my wife and plug her NI holes.
“She got ten years worth of free pension credits, which would have cost us approx £7,000.”
He said it was “huge weight off our minds” when the pair realised
Registering for child benefit builds up entitlement to the state pension for parents who are low earners or don’t work as they’re stay-at-home parents.
But if the higher earning parent registers for the child benefit for kids under the age of 12, then their partner who doesn’t work is left without the benefit contributions.
Parents can check their National Insurance record and transfer NICs to the parent with the low-or-no income to plug the gap – and you can even back date it too.
You can do it either online by filling out a form on Gov.uk or by calling child benefit office on 0300 200 3100.
Who is eligible to claim child benefit?
You will normally qualify for child benefit if you live in the UK and you’re responsible for a child under 16.
The support can also be claimed for a child under 20 if they stay in approved education or training.
But when two or more people share caring responsibilities for a child, it can only be claimed by one person.
To be considered responsible for a child, you will live with them or pay at least the same amount as child benefit rates to look after them – for example, for food, clothes or pocket money.
Foster parents can also claim Child Benefit as long as the local council is not paying anything towards their accommodation or maintenance.
Legal guardians or parents who are adopting a child can also apply for the support as soon as the child comes to live with them.
How do I apply for child benefit?
As soon as you have registered the birth of your child, or once they’ve come to live with you, you can open a claim.
It can take four months to process a new child benefit claim, sometimes longer if you’re new to the UK, but it can be backdated for a maximum of three months.
So it’s best to start the application process as soon as possible.
To apply, you’ll need to fill in a Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office.
The address to send it to is as follows:
Child Benefit Office (GB)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Note that you’ll need a stamp in order to send off the application form, and these can be purchased from the Post Office.
Meanwhile, The Treasury has revealed that from 2026, parents will be able to claim National Insurance (NI) credits for years in the past where they didn’t claim child benefit.
Plus, thousands of parents could lose out on as much as £30,000 by failing to tick a critical box on a form for child benefit.
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