Urgently consider buying national insurance if you are AGED 45 TO 70
Updated: Aug 1
𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩'𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙙𝙚𝙖𝙙𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙚?Entitlement to the state retirement pension depends on accruing sufficient qualifying years - those where enough NI is paid, or are treated as being paid. Gaps in work can lead to missing out on qualifying years, meaning entitlement to a full pension may not be achieved. In some cases, it's possible that the minimum number of years to receive anything (currently ten years) may not be achieved. To rectify this, you can fill gaps by making voluntary Class 3 payments. Usually, you can only do this for the past six years. However, it's currently possible to make contributions for years right back to 𝗔𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗹 𝟮𝟬𝟬𝟲.
This opportunity was due to end on 5 April 2023, but the government has just announced an extension to 𝟯𝟭 𝗝𝘂𝗹𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯. If you're concerned about your entitlement, check your contribution history via your personal tax account.
Only full qualifying NI years count towards your state pension. This means even if you've paid some of your contributions (through earnings or credits), unless it's a full year it will not count at all towards your state pension. You can plug any shortfalls. Paying for a partial year is cheaper than buying a full year, as you'll only pay proportionately for the weeks you're missing, so can be a cost-effective way to boost your state pension.
Remember to consider the years you have left to work before making any payments though.
To read more, Martin Lewis from Moneysavingexpert has fantastic information and a calculator to determine if it is worthwhile to top-up your NI contributions. Listen to Martin explain the ins and outs of plugging gaps in your national insurance record, to potentially boost your state pension by £1,000s. Listen to his podcast for free.
Full information on how to manually apply for any NI credits you're due is on the Government's national insurance credits page.