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How do I pay a voluntary National Insurance contribution?

How do I pay a voluntary National Insurance contribution?

Mike Wakeford

 National Insurance (NI) contributions are made in a variety of ways:
  • Class 1 contributions are paid by employers and their employees
  • Class 2 contributions are fixed weekly amounts paid by self-employed people.
  • Class 3 contributions are voluntary NICs paid by people wanting to fill gaps in their contribution record.
  • Class 4 contributions are paid by self-employed people on their profits.

These contributions create an individual’s NI history.  If there are any gaps in your NI history, this could end up affecting your entitlement to the state pension. To qualify for the new maximum state pension, you must have at least 35 years of qualifying NI contributions. You may only receive a part payment if you don’t qualify for a full State pension, and you need a minimum of ten qualifying years to receive a partial state pension. 

To help more people ensure they can receive the full state pension, the government has put a temporary extension in place enabling you to fill any gaps in your NIC history from the 6th of April 2006 to the current date by making voluntary contributions. From the 6th of April 2023, you will only be able to make voluntary payments for gaps within the last six years.  So, for the 2023/2024 tax year, you will only be able to make payments that date back to the 2017/2018 tax year. 

Therefore it is recommended that you take advantage of this time to ensure that there are no gaps in your NIC record that date back earlier than the 2017/2018 tax year.

Taxpayers who are unsure of their NIC history or want to check their NIC history to ensure everything is clear and consistent are advised to take the following steps to ensure they have the best chance of receiving the full state pension:

1. Check your NI record online using your personal tax account.  If you do not already have one set up, this can be done here 
2. Identify any discrepancies between NI contributions you have paid and those showing on HMRC’s system
3. Identify any NI credits that are missing from periods in which you should have been received them (e.g., on receipt of universal credit or child benefit)
4. Identify any shortfalls in contributions
5. Contact HMRC if you think there are any errors 
If you find yourself in a situation where you wish to top up or fill in the gaps in your NIC history from earlier than 6 April 2017, you must ensure the payment reaches HMRC before the deadline of the 5th of April 2023.  You can create same/next-day payments via Online or Telephone banking (via CHAPS). Or pay within three working days via Telephone or online methods (Via BACS) or by cheque in the post.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you Feel that there may be some gaps in your NIC (National insurance credit history) Contact our tax team. they will be willing to guid you through the process of looking at your NIC history and helping you with any voluntary payments that may be required for you to beable to receive the maximum state pension.