Friday, 8 April 2016

State Pension Credits For Partners Of Those Who Served

State Pension Credits

April 7, 2016
Pension Credits
The new Class 3 NI credits have been introduced  in recognition of the fact that accompanied service overseas may have affected a Service spouse or civil partner’s ability to work and pay NI contributions,  potentially causing a gap in their NI record and thereby affecting the amount of State Pension they receive in retirement.
The government sees this change as helping to fulfil its obligations under the Armed Forces Covenant, which states that members of the Armed Forces and their families should receive fair treatment from the nation which they serve.
Service spouses and civil partners will be eligible to apply for the new Class 3 NI credits if they meet the age criteria above and:
• Are or have been married to /in a civil partnership with a member of the Armed Forces; and
• Have accompanied their spouse or civil partner on a deployment outside the UK at any time since 6 April 1975; and
• At the time of the posting their spouse or civil partner must have paid, been treated as having paid or been credited with UK National Insurance
Those who are widowed, divorced or have had their civil partnership dissolved are still eligible to claim, provided the relationship existed at the  time they accompanied their partner abroad.
Not all Service spouses or civil partners who meet the above criteria will  have a gap in their NI records and so will not need to apply for the new credits. For example, those who
worked in a job during the accompanied assignment where they paid UK NI contributions, those who were  self-employed and paying self-employed Class 2 NI contributions, those who received certain benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance during the period in question.
You can apply for the new Class 3 NI credits anytime from 6 April 2016. There is no time limit in applying for the credits, although if you apply after you reach State Pension age any increased State Pension might not be paid for periods before the date of your application.
For information about applying for the new Class 3 credit visit www.gov.uk/dwp/ni-credits-armed-forces-partners.
You can check whether there are any gaps in your NI record for the periods you were overseas, by using an online tool on GOV.uk called ‘Check your State Pension’(www) at the link above or at www.gov.uk/new-state-pension.
The new Class 3 credits do not replace the existing Class 1 NI credit for those who have accompanied a partner on a posting since April 2010.

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