Protecting your pension

One in five carers is forced to give up employment in order to look after someone, and this causes gaps in their pension record. As a result, many carers struggle to make ends meet when they reach retirement age. This means that if you're a carer, protecting your pensions can be an important issue.

There are ways that your state retirement pension can be protected. In order to receive a state retirement pension you have to have:

  • paid enough national insurance contributions
  • been credited with enough national insurance contributions, or 
  • a combination of the two

There are ways to ensure that your pension is protected if you are a carer. These include national insurance credits or carer’s credit.

You may also have a private or works pension. See the information below on the range of pensions that exist and where to seek help if you're going to take a break from paying into a private or works pension.

The government's official online source of information on benefits is GOV.UK.

Click on the bar for information about getting advice on your pension.

Getting advice

As a carer, your working years may be a combination of paid employment in full-time, part-time, well-paid or low-paid jobs. There may be years when you haven't done any paid work or you've spent long periods in part-time or low-paid employment. You can still benefit from a private pension in addition to the state pension.

There are many non-state pension schemes on offer, and you may wish to consider them all before deciding whether you want to take out a personal or stakeholder pension. However, you can also get help in making your decision from a financial adviser or specialist.

Financial Conduct Authority

All companies offering advice on pensions or other financial products must be registered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check if the person or company you're using is registered by calling the Money Made Clear helpline on 0300 500 5000 or using the FCA online register.

The Pensions Advisory Service

The Pensions Advisory Service is an independent, non-profit organisation that provides free information, advice and guidance on state, company, personal and stakeholder pension schemes.

Pension tracking

The GOV.UK pension tracing service can help you find a pension company you have lost track of even if you don't have all the details.