Written on 07/03/2023

Do you still have your NI card?  They stopped producing them in 2011....

A possible 15 million people in the UK may be eligible for enhanced state pension by paying voluntary contributions to National Insurance.  Time is nearly out for individuals who want to top up any gaps in their National Insurance Contributions (NICs) records. If you intend to maximise your future State Pension benefits by going back and making voluntary contributions, you need to check your records, before 5 April 2023. 

Some people may have gaps in their record -for instance if they have not paid NI in some years, such as through employment or self-employment or time abroad.  You can always go back and make some contributions. But this year you can go back ten years, and that will shortly be reduced to just six years.  The mere fact of the tightening suggests that it is generally a “good deal” for those making the contributions. 

You need about 35 qualifying years to claim the full state pension.   And this tightening will affect you if you are aged between 45 and 60 years and do not have enough qualifying years and know you will not be able to get the qualifying years needed during your remaining working life.  How far back can voluntary NICs be paid?

Voluntary contributions can usually only be paid for the past six years: this means that gaps for the tax year 2016-17 must be made up by 5 April 2023.  And you have until 5 April 2023 to pay voluntary contributions for gaps in NIC records between April 2006 and April 2016.  After 5 April 2023, this opportunity will be lost.

You should push your clients into action.  NI records and State Pension forecasts can be viewed online, via an individual’s Personal Tax Account.  Go online to check your National Insurance contributions record. You can do this via a Government Gateway account. You can review your contribution history for gaps, and obtain a State Pension forecast. here 

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