State pension and women: your state pension when you're bringing up children
How is your state pension protected when you have children, and how does the old system of Home Responsibilities Protection work?
If you have children and give up work to look after them, you won't pay National Insurance (NI) through your wages, but you will earn credits for NI which will count towards your state pension. Before this NI credits system was introduced in 2010, women bringing up their children were entitled to Home Responsibilities Protection. I'll explain both systems in this article and what you should watch out for.
A Parliamentary committee has criticised the government over its plans for a flat rate state pension
The committee said that the government should explain the changes better and protect some women near to retirement
The government is planning to bring in a new ‘flat rate’ state pension in April 2016, which will be paid at the equivalent of £144 a week in today’s money, to those who have paid 35 years of National Insurance. However, women born between April 1952 and April 1953 won’t receive it (when men born the same date will) and it will mean women can no longer claim a state pension based on their husband’s NI contributions. This is what the Work and Pensions Committee said in its report:
The government’s plans for a flat rate state pension will mean thousands of women won’t qualify
Women born before 6th April 1953 won’t get the flat rate state pension of £144 a week, under current plans.
Since the government announced its plans to introduce a flat rate pension (or ‘single tier’ pension, as they prefer to call it), I’ve had dozens of emails from women who are furious that they won’t qualify for it, despite the fact that men born on the same date will. Today (19th March 2013), the Pensions Minister said that the flat rate state pension would now be introduced on April 6th 2016, not 2017 as was the case under the original plans. But many women will still miss out.