When you have children there are several benefits you can claim to help you with the costs. Some come with requirements and some may be more beneficial to you than others, depending on your specific situation.
At this point in your life your thoughts will be on how you are going to get by financially right now. Raising children isn’t cheap – in fact the average cost, for just one child up until the age of 21 is a whopping £230,000!
Meanwhile, your pension, which you are still many years from claiming will, perhaps, be at the back on your mind. However, it is important to be considering it or you could come to regret it in the long run.
What exactly is your state pension?
The basic State Pension is a regular payment you will receive from the government when you reach State Pension age. To get it you must have paid or been credited with National Insurance contributions. The most you can currently get is £119.30 a week.
This increases each year by whichever of the following is highest:
There are ways you can increase your basic State Pension – but you won’t get it automatically, you will have to claim it.
And, what are Child Benefits?
There are many benefits you can claim when you are pregnant or have children to help you with the costs including Child Benefits. This is a regular payment from the government which is available to anyone responsible for a child under
16 – or under 20 if they are in training or education.
The rates for the 2016-17 tax year are:
- £20.70 per week for the eldest or only child
- £13.70 per week for each additional child
You can claim this by downloading the relevant form from the government website, however if you or your partner earn over £50,000 a year, you will have to pay back some or all of this in the form of extra Income Tax.
So, the big question – is your state pension at risk if you do not claim child benefits?
In short, yes. New mothers are being warned to register for child benefit even if they are not entitled to it. Why? Because not doing it could leave them with a far smaller state pension than they are expecting.
Changes to the child benefit system, introduced in 2013, could see new mothers lose more than half a billion pounds in state pension.