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National Insurance record – check before 5 April 2023

An opportunity for taxpayers to plug any gaps in their National Insurance record

13 Feb 2023

Voluntary National Insurance Contributions (‘NICs’) Class 3 are an opportunity for taxpayers to plug any gaps in their National Insurance (‘NI’) record for earlier years’ where they have not met a ‘qualifying year’ for NI purposes.

A ‘qualifying year’ is a tax year from 6 April to 5 April, where, during this period, the taxpayer has paid, or has been credited with enough NICs contributions to make that tax year qualify for the Basic State Pension.

This level may not have been met for example due to a low salary or because the level of their self-employed profits fell below the limit in a particular year. Currently, you need at least 10 ‘qualifying years’ of contributions in your National Insurance record to receive any state pension. Therefore, it can be beneficial to pay the voluntary NICs in order to achieve a full year, especially when the gap to pay is quite small.

To allow taxpayers to ‘top up’ any NICs gaps in their NI record, they can choose to pay Voluntary National Insurance class 3. For the 2022-2023 tax year, the rate is £15.85 a week, and can fill gaps between 6 April 2006 and 5 April 2016, if you’re eligible.

So what’s changing?

From 6 April 2023, NICs class 3 voluntary contributions will only be able to be paid across to HM Revenue & Customs for the past 6 tax years, and not the current extended window from 6 April 2006 up until 5 April 2016.

Check your NIC record

We recommend that you check your NICs record online at: gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record to see if you need to top up your NICs qualifying years. This is your chance to boost your state pension entitlement for the extended window if you haven’t already done so, before it’s too late.

If you require further assistance, please contact us.

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