National insurance contributions, how to fix gaps

National insurance contributions for pension

What are National insurance contributions (NICs)?

NICs are made when you are employed. This tax is then used to provide state assistance for people who are sick, unemployed or retired. Therefore the contributions you pay throughout your working life will then contribute to the amount of state pension you are set to receive when you come to retirement age.

To qualify for your state pension you will need to have paid in full for 35 years. Therefore, if you have gaps in your records it could effect the amount you are due to receive.

HMRC are giving you the opportunity to fill in any gaps from April 2006 to April 2016. Any gaps before April 2006, can no longer be filled.

So how do I find out if I have gaps?

Good question and one that is easily answered!

If you have a government gateway account you will need to log on and go to your personal tax account. On your personal tax account you will see a section labelled as national insurance, which will then take you to a button that says ‘check your national insurance contributions’.

Here you will find your personal record and will see any gaps. If you have gaps what do you do?

Firstly, check that you agree with the gaps!

Check against P60’s or payslips and determine if your record is correct. If it’s not, you’ll need to contact HMRC to provide evidence to correct it. If it is correct, then you need to determine whether filling in the gaps will be beneficial to you!

How do I decide whether filling in the gaps is best for me?

Call the Futures Pension Helpline on: 0800 731 0175

They will be able to advise you on what state pension you are entitled to currently and if the voluntary payment will benefit you.

You can then make an informed decision!

I want to increase my national insurance contributions to fill in the gaps, how do I make payment?

If you decide to make a payment, you will need to make a voluntary class 3 national insurance contribution.

To do this, you will need to call HMRC on: 0300 200 3500

You will then need to explain to them what you want to do and they will ask for the amount you want to pay and provide you with a 18 digit reference number.

HMRC will also provide you with the correct sort code and account number to make payment.

When is the deadline?

31 July 2023

After this date you can only go back 6 years! Act now or lose the opportunity!

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