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Claim child benefit to secure your state pension?

To get the maximum state pension under the new rules, you need to have 35 qualifying years on your National Insurance Contributions (NIC) record. Qualifying years include those in which you worked and paid NICs, but also years when you claimed child benefit, provided that your child was under 12. If you have more than one child it may be worth claiming in respect of the youngest.

This can still be relevant even if you're not claiming child benefit because of the high income child benefit charge - the effect of which is that if either parent's income is more than £50,000 a year some or all of the child benefit has to be paid back. The child benefit claim form CH2 now includes an option: "I don't want to be paid Child Benefit, but I want to protect my State Pension."

Specific advice should be obtained before taking action, or refraining from taking action, on the basis of this information.

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