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Filling Gaps in National Insurance Contributions extended to 2025

Filling Gaps in National Insurance Contributions extended to 2025

Mike Wakeford

Why Was The Deadline Extended
We previously notified you that the deadline was approaching for individuals aged 45 to 72 to fill in gaps in their National Insurance Contribution (NIC) history. For those under 45, it will generally not make sense to pay for additional years as you should have sufficient remaining working life to achieve the maximum number of NIC years (although other factors could affect this such as if you have moved overseas). The initial deadline was April 5th 2023, which due to the current overload of government helplines, was subsequently extended to 31st July 2023 and has now been further extended to 5th April 2025 as advisers have been unable to provide the necessary advice.

Who Can Benefit From Buying NIC Years?
Although it cannot increase a state pension above the “full” amount of £203.85 per week, the pension amount you actually receive depends on the number of “qualifying” NIC years you have. Checking for any gaps in contribution history is recommended so you can then consider buying additional years of NI contributions.  Each situation is different, so you need to make your own assessment of whether there is a benefit to you of making additional contributions.

Martin Lewis has a complete guide to making the most of this opportunity. It's essential to check your NIC record for gaps that can be resolved. Buying back years is only potentially necessary if you're not due a full state pension. 

How Do I Buy Back NIC Years?
To buy back NI years, follow these steps:

1. Decide how many years you want to buy back. Please focus on the period between 2006 and 2017 and purchase them before the 2025 deadline.

2. Contact HMRC to obtain an 18-digit reference number. This number is crucial to determine the exact cost of the selected years and input them in the appropriate record.

3. Pay HMRC through your bank account or cheque, which may take longer to process.

4. After HMRC processes your payment, you will see the extra years in your NIC record. This process may take up to two months.

To learn more about this topic, watch this helpful video from Martin Lewis. He explains the process and stresses the importance of filling in any gaps in your national insurance. Please note that at the time of writing the video has not yet been updated to cover the new deadline.