If you are diagnosed with young onset dementia or someone you care for is, it may mean you stop work sooner than you planned. Taking early retirement could be an option for you. If you have a company or private pension, you should seek advice from your employer or pension provider on how retiring early will affect you.
Protecting your State Pension
The State Pension age is gradually going up. You can work out when you will qualify for your pension by using the government’s online calculator.
If you have to stop work before you reach the State Pension age because you have dementia or you take on a care role, you can protect your entitlement with National Insurance Credits. They help to fill in any gaps in your National Insurance record. They have replaced Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP). You may get the credits automatically or you may have to apply for them. Find out more from the government information website, or call the National Insurance Helpline, telephone 0300 200 3500 Textphone 0845 915 3296
If the State Pension is not enough for you to live on, you may be entitled to claim Pension Credit. This is a means-tested benefit with two parts. Guarantee credit tops up your income to a ‘guaranteed’ level. You may be eligible if your income is below £155.60 (for single people), or £237.55 (for couples).
The second part is Savings credit. This is an extra payment that you may be eligible for if you have put aside some money towards your retirement through a pension, savings or investments. Use the pension credit calculator to find out what you can claim.
(Pension credit rates last checked for accuracy November 2016)