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Legal & money

Is 'housekeeping' classed as income?

(113 Posts)
hope2021 Mon 01-Mar-21 21:21:29

just that really.

For the last 30 years I have been a stay at home mum. I have not earned a wage or paid an NI stamp. I totally realise I will not get a state pension. I am 66 soon. I repeat, I will not be trying to claim a pension

My partner took care of everything and gave me a housekeeping amount of money to run the house, and when our children started work, they contributed too, and still do. They will look after me always.

I realise now that a lot of people would look on this with shock and horror for not having a job, but that's the way it was in those days - Mum stayed at home, Dad went to work and then the children take care of us.

but back to my question, would this be classed as income by HMRC? as they have made the enquiry as to what I've been living on these last 30 years.

hope2021 Mon 01-Mar-21 21:24:35

forgot to add, we were not married, so he would have only paid his own income tax which he did. I don't know if it makes a difference.

GagaJo Mon 01-Mar-21 21:28:29

But you are saying for the last 30 years. So that means from the 1990s. Taking nothing away from what you did and the choices made by yourself and your husband, I am pretty sure in the 1990s, a huge % of wives worked. All of my friends did. It isnt as if you said, 1950.

Sorry, that isn't an answer to your question. But I was shocked.

Shandy57 Mon 01-Mar-21 21:28:54

Did you get child benefit for the children? NI is paid during those years.

Pantglas2 Mon 01-Mar-21 21:28:58

You will be able to claim contributions (Home Responsibility protection?)for every year you received child Allowance up until the youngest was 12, I think.

Also 3 years credit from 16-18 years of age so you will get something- give Pension people a ring at Newcastle, they’re very helpful.

NellG Mon 01-Mar-21 21:38:25

I don't believe it will be classed as income - as your partner will have already paid income tax on it before it got to you.

Pensions are paid according to NI contributions made, there are allowances for women who undertook childcare and who were homemakers. You will be able to get something, definitely give them a ring.

NellG Mon 01-Mar-21 21:39:56

As in, you have an entitlement so you should claim. Just adding as you say you wont be claiming.

hope2021 Mon 01-Mar-21 21:56:44

GagaJo your comment was the reason I didn't put this query onto Mumsnet!! I knew some of you might be shocked. Some people in those days did stay at home and look after the children. I did have a job til 1989 tho

Yes it was the 90's,

Thank you NellG I was not sure if it would be classed as income by HMRC

paddyanne Mon 01-Mar-21 21:57:20

I dont think you should rely on your children to look after you.They'll have their own families and homes to provide for.Their wives or partners wont be too thrilled if they have to keep mum for maybe decades because she didn't provide for herself .I cant imagine EVER expecting my children to "look after me" in any way ,its not what I had them for .

Marydoll Mon 01-Mar-21 21:59:02

hope2021, I was a stay at home mum for ten years, then went back to teaching.
I was in receipt of child benefit and my NI contributions were credited for those stay at home years.
You should be able to claim some sort of state pension, based on those credits.
If you go sign up to access Government Gateway, you will be able to see what you are entitled to.
My state pension is due in May and I was able to see what I will get.

Nannarose Mon 01-Mar-21 22:09:03

I do think that all you need to do is tell HMRC that your partner provided for you. I have known a few women in this situation. They usually simply need confirmation.
However, I wonder why they are asking now, and if there are other concerns. CAB & turn2us are 2 organisations that often help.

I would definitely investigate you state pension entitlement. You say that you are 65 and have not earned anything for 30 years. If you were earning before that, then in normal circumstances you would have either paid NI or been credited with contributions for possibly 17 years. You would then have had Home Responsibilities credit - and the exact ways in which this was credited has varied over the years, so definitely worth looking at. It is quite possible that you have a good number of years . The website will tell you how to check that.
You may then consider buying extra years by paying a lump sum - again the exact details vary so you need to check out exactly how it applies to you.
For instance:
If you paid or were credited with NI contributions for 17 years (age 18-35) then had Home Responsibility credits for say 13 years, that gives you 30 years contributions, and you may well be able to buy a 'top up' to give you enough qualifying years. I know several people who have done that.

I know it doesn't apply to you, but in case others are reading: if anyone decides not to work because they are supported by another person, they can still pay voluntary contributions in order to claim their State Pension. I know a number of women who did that.

Casdon Mon 01-Mar-21 22:10:07

If you had a job until 1989 and you’re now coming up to 66, presumably that means you accrued pension entitlement for 16 years as well, so why not claim what you are due?

hope2021 Mon 01-Mar-21 22:39:51

Casdon Thank you

NannaRose I was self employed for those years and I did pay tax and NI. I will make some enquiries from your information

Thank you for your assistance.

And to *paddyanne'- 'I didn't have children to look after me' -neither did I. I have it on good authority I have about 2 years left. So it shouldn't be to much of a drain on them both.

geekesse Mon 01-Mar-21 22:52:49

It seems to me like an odd combination of values. On the one hand, you speak of not working as something people did ‘in those days’, as if it was the 1950s. On the other, your arrangement seems to have rejected the traditional convenience of marriage, which is a much more contemporary choice. And yet your partner gave you ‘housekeeping’ rather than the two of you sharing the family income as would have been normal in the 90s and later.

Hey ho! If it worked for you, what right do any of us have to criticise?

Esspee Mon 01-Mar-21 22:55:07

I am shocked that anyone would condemn any parent who was able to and made the choice to be a full time mother.
The OP was not subsidised by the state, she was home bringing up her children supported by her husband.
Hope2021, you are entitled to a reduced pension and should claim it.

Doodledog Mon 01-Mar-21 23:05:39

I'm not 'condemning' the OP, but in answer to your comment, Esspee, the OP was subsidised by the state, inasmuch as her husband paid only his own tax and NI (which she acknowledges), so she did not contribute for many years. Assuming that she used the roads, hospitals and all the things that are paid for by the state/taxpayer, then of course she was subsidised.

Legally, as long as the NI contributions were paid for by the state then yes, she will be entitled to a pension, but what I don't understand is why her partner can't continue to provide for her now, after doing so for so long? Given that so many women who have paid NI for decades are being denied pensions for six long years, apparently because the country can't afford to pay us what we were promised, I genuinely can't understand why people who have not paid in should be entitled to a pension in their own right. If the couple are unable to afford retirement on one salary, then a means tested pension would, to me, make more sense.

NellG Mon 01-Mar-21 23:15:58

I was always under the impression that women's liberation intended that women should be free to choose their path in life and not have it dictated to them. Yet here we are in 2021, with women questioning other women's life choices...

Callistemon Mon 01-Mar-21 23:19:07

I did have a job til 1989 tho
Did you pay a full stamp for those years when you worked?
Then, as others have said, I think Home Responsibilities credits would accrue, (if you were in receipt of Child Benefit) giving you several years of NI contributions so you may have enough to claim a pension in your own right.

You can ask for a pension forecast

Doodledog Mon 01-Mar-21 23:55:21


I was always under the impression that women's liberation intended that women should be free to choose their path in life and not have it dictated to them. Yet here we are in 2021, with women questioning other women's life choices...

I don't think anyone is questioning the OP's choices - they are pretty clear, are they not? Of course people (men and women) should be able to choose their path, but they are not free to expect everyone else to pay for it, outside of a welfare state which provides (and should provide more) for those who are unable to do so for themselves for whatever reason.

Those who paid NI for decades had their offtakes dictated to them - it adds insult to injury to be told that there is not enough money to pay for pensions when we expected them, but there is enough to pay contributions to those who choose not to work, and have not paid childcare, commuting, or any of the other expenses of working.

I think that couples of whatever sex should be able to decide how to arrange their finances and working lives, but that should be on the same basis as everyone else. If there were a way of taxing working partners so that they covered the non-working ones, then it would be fair for both of them to have pensions in their own right, but as long as they pay in one contribution between them, there is no logical reason why they should get two pensions.

I don't understand what you think this has to do with women's liberation - I am not discriminating here. I feel the same about men who choose not to work.

FarNorth Tue 02-Mar-21 03:30:36

I don't understand the carping about pensions, on this thread.
The OP had no intention of claiming a pension, but others have said she may be entitled to something.
Entitled - get it?

The housekeeping money is, as it says, money for running the household. So it's not classed as your personal income, for tax purposes.

kittylester Tue 02-Mar-21 06:49:29

I'm fairly sure you will be entitled to a reduced pension and then could apply for pension credit.

Katie59 Tue 02-Mar-21 08:08:22

Is housekeeping income ?.

If you are not married and you are being given more than your personal allowance (£10K or so) in theory it would be taxable, because your partner might be seen as paying for a service.

This is the situation I am in I get a monthly allowance part goes on housekeeping rest remains in my account.

GagaJo Tue 02-Mar-21 08:18:34


I was always under the impression that women's liberation intended that women should be free to choose their path in life and not have it dictated to them. Yet here we are in 2021, with women questioning other women's life choices...

I don't think anyone is questioning her choice. I think we all respect the right to choose. For me it is more the timing. In the 1990s it was not the norm as the OP seemed to claim, is all.

Also, it doesn't take 30 years to raise children. I don't imagine a 25 year old, even if still living at home, needs to be cared for by Mum, unless disabled.

If this WERE Mumsnet, the women would tell her that she has made a massive error by not being married, because she has relied on a man, with no protection that marriage gives, should the relationship break down. I am NOT however, saying that.

I think as others have said, there is reduced pension entitlement which is worth looking in to. As for children looking after parents, that also is a thing of the past. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not really. And finally, where is the partner (Dad) now? Is he still around, in which case why is he no longer supporting OP?

Nannarose Tue 02-Mar-21 08:51:25

hope2021 - I am struck by your comment 'only 2 years left'. I am sorry to hear that. Please look up, not just what pension you may be entitled to, but also if you are ill, what other help may be available. Some depends on contributions, some not.

Families organise themselves in different ways. depending on circumstances. Whatever may or may not have been 'normal' (whatever that is) at any era isn't important. I hope you find the answers that will help you.

TrendyNannie6 Tue 02-Mar-21 09:09:54

While you are saying you were a stay at home mum and not wanting to claim a pension that’s totally your choice, but what I’m more shocked about is your children will look after you always, I take it you mean financially!I wouldn’t expect any of my AC to contribute to me and look after me always, that’s not why I had my children, Are you in the U.K., I’m very surprised that you expect your children to do this, I wonder what their wives / husbands think