Pension provision fear for carers

Foster care charity the Fostering Network is
calling on social workers and foster carers to write to their MPs
about discrimination in the pension system, which leaves many
foster carers with inadequate provision for their retirement.

A survey of 3,000 Fostering Network members
found that 90 per cent were concerned about pension provision. The
responses showed that many carers were unaware of the impact
fostering would have on their pension. Currently, parents looking
after their children at home receive home responsibilities
protection through child benefit, which reduces the number of years
they must work to receive a pension.

But foster parents do not receive child
benefit and therefore do not receive protection for their pension.
As a result, many foster carers reach retirement only to find that
they do not qualify for a state pension.

The charity, formerly the National Foster Care
Association, is urging the government to extend the provision of
home responsibilities protection to all foster carers, for the
entire period of their fostering.

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