SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS/STATE BENEFITS
Synopsis: A new armed forces National Insurance credit is available for spouses and civil partners who joined their partners on overseas postings. Claims can be made going back to 1975.
Announcement: Friday, April 15, 2016
The DWP has announced it will provide extra support for armed forces spouses and civil partners to help protect their state pension. The new credit covers the years spent abroad from 6 April 1975 onwards and counts towards the new State Pension.
Up to 20,000 armed forces spouses may be eligible for a new National Insurance credit if they have previously joined their partners on an overseas posting. They may have been unable to work while abroad and therefore could not make National Insurance contributions.
The new credit has been taken forward 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.
The DWP has published detailed guidance for individuals to find out how to claim Class 3 National Insurance credits if they:
·are (or were) married to or the civil partner of a member of the armed forces, and
·went with them on an overseas posting after 6 April 1975.
The new application form is available here.
On 6 April 2010, the government introduced a National Insurance credit for which an accompanying spouse or civil partner on an overseas posting can apply. Applications must be made by the end of the tax year following the one in which the posting ends. It is still possible to apply for this credit which may also help if the spouse or civil partner wants to claim a working age benefit.
Pensions Minister Ros Altmann said: ‘Our armed forces protect our country and it is only right that in turn, we help protect their partners’ ability to receive the full state pension when they reach state pension age. This new credit will help ensure people who choose to support their partners abroad don’t miss out on a good state pension.’