Did you know the UK state pension is directly linked to the number of years National Insurance (NI) contributions have been applied to your account?
National insurance contributions are a tax paid on earnings and self-employed profits by employees, employers, and the self-employed.
Individuals meeting certain requirements may also receive NI credits if their circumstances do not require for them to make contributions. These credits make up an individual’s NI history and can have an impact on their entitlement to certain benefits, such as maternity leave or the state pension.
How many years of credit do I need?
A minimum of 10 years of NI contributions is needed to be eligible for the basic state pension.
In order to qualify for the new maximum state pension, you must have at least 35 years of qualifying NI contributions.
You may also be able to claim a partial state pension, where the amount received at retirement age is dependent on the number of years contributions have been made between 10 and 35 years.
How can I check my national insurance record?
It is recommended for qualifying individuals to check their national insurance record and identify any gaps. This can easily be accessed by logging in to your Government Gateway account.
If it is predicted that you may not have enough years to qualify for a full or partial state pension, it may be beneficial to make voluntary NI contributions to fill in gaps in your contribution history.
What can I do if I have gaps in my record?
Normally you can only make voluntary payments for gaps within the last six years, however, there is a temporary extension for men born after 5 April 1951 and women born after April 1953, allowing individuals to backdate any gaps in their National Insurance record from 6 April 2006 to present day.
This must be completed before 31 July 2023.
Checking your record
It is important to ensure HMRC’s records are correct to the best of your knowledge, and whether you are entitled to any NI credits for periods where your earnings did not reach the minimum threshold for NI.
What if I have lived abroad?
If you have been living abroad and have less than 10 years’ worth of qualifying years, you may be able to use time spent abroad to make up the number of years required to receive the minimum state pension.
How can Gerald Edelman help?
If you have found yourself in a situation where you may have some gaps in your record or would like some advice, please contact our tax team today.Back to top