The impact on pensions can somewhat be eased through the use of carer’s credits, which count towards a person’s state pension entitlement.To be eligible for these credits, a person must be between 16 and state pension age and look after one or more people for at least 20 hours a week.
However, recent research from Quilter showed thousands of carers are at risk of losing these credits as the numbers of people claiming are lower than pre-pandemic. A Freedom of Information request by Quilter, showed that in 2021 just 4,759 people have claimed carer’s credits.
Based on these figures, which are the most available to November 8, 2021, Quilter estimated the number of carer’s credits claimed by the end of the year to be just 5,568, marginally ahead of last year’s figure of 5,221, but remaining 13 percent lower than pre-pandemic figures.
This is despite Government estimates that 4.5 million additional people become unpaid carers because of the pandemic. This is on top of the 9.1 million unpaid carers already caring before coronavirus hit, with many juggling their own health and wellbeing issues as well as employment.