National Insurance (NI) contributions are payments made by employed and self-employed individuals based on their earnings. These contributions, along with NI credits, form a person’s NI history, which affects their entitlement to the state pension and other benefits.
Why should you top up your national insurance contributions?
To receive the maximum ‘new state pension,’ which applies to those retiring on or after April 6, 2016, individuals need 35 qualifying years of NI contributions. A minimum of 10 years of contributions is required for partial payment. Different rules may apply to individuals whose NI record started before April 6, 2016.
Insufficient contributions may result in the inability to claim or receive the full state pension. Making voluntary NI contributions can enhance a person’s contribution history and potentially increase their state pension amount.
It is advisable to seek specific financial advice when deciding to make voluntary contributions.
How to check your national insurance contributions
To check contribution records and consider making voluntary NI contributions, you can access your record on your Government Gateway account.
Normally it is only possible to make voluntary NI contributions for the past 6 tax years, but until 05 April 2025, it is possible to go back as far as 6 April 2006 and pay additional contributions at the 2022/23 Class 3 rate of £15.85 per week. You may also be able to pay the lower class 2 contributions in some circumstances.
This is a pension investment decision, and your IFA may need to be consulted to ensure this aligns with your overall investment plan.
How to contact HMRC regarding National Insurance contributions
The number to call to discuss this with HMRC’s NI office is 0300 200 3500. You will need to know your NI number, and you will ultimately need to ask to be issued with a reference number so that you can make voluntary NI contributions.
To find out which years you are missing from your record, you need to log in via the link below using your personal tax account set up with HMRC:
Check your National Insurance record
If you don’t have a personal tax account, you can create one here:
Personal tax account: sign in or set up
Treetops cannot access your NI record as your agent. We can only access your tax records. You will therefore need to contact HMRC using the contact details given above.