House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Drake Baroness Drake Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of their plans to end child benefit as a universal benefit, what steps they are taking to ensure that women who would otherwise have an underlying entitlement to child benefit will still be credited with the national insurance record needed to accrue entitlement to a state pension.

Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury

National insurance credits, which protect a person's future entitlement to basic state pension and the state second pension, will remain available for those claiming child benefit for a child less than 12 years old.

Parents and carers who get national insurance credits linked to claiming child benefit will not lose them on the basis of their household income, even if they choose not to receive the actual payments or their partner has to pay the new tax charge.

The introduction of the tax charge will not affect a person's right to claim child benefit. Parents and carers will have two options to safeguard their state pension, which will be made clear on the child benefit form:

they can claim child benefit, receive the payments and, if liable, they or their partner can pay the new tax charge; or they can register for child benefit to establish entitlement to the credits but choose not to receive the actual payments; this means that neither they nor their partner will be liable to pay the new tax charge.

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