Tax payers have the option to make payments to HMRC to complete their National Insurance record. These are voluntary payments and made outside of payroll.
Why would you want to make voluntary payments to HMRC?
If you have a complete National Insurance record you will be able to receive the full state pension, if there are gaps the pension will be reduced. You may therefore feel it is beneficial to pay some additional National Insurance in the hope of gaining a higher state pension. Not everyone would benefit from making additional payments however so you do need to check first.
For the new state pension you need at least 10 years of contributions to qualify and 35 years to gain the full amount. See here for further details.
How much National Insurance do you need to pay?
You would need to check your National Insurance record to see if there are any gaps.
As an employee as long as you have pay subject to NI above the Lower Earnings Limit (currently £123 per week) you will complete the record even if you are below the primary threshold to start making payments. This means as long as you are employed and earning above the LEL you could get a full National Insurance record without ever have to pay National Insurance.
E.g. an employee earning £600 per month could have a full record without ever actually paying National Insurance.
What gaps can be filled?
The deadline has been recently extended and now gaps from 2006 can be filled up to 5th April 2025. (Find out more here.) It is worthwhile checking your online tax portal (link to a previous blog post on personal tax portals) anyway as there is more than just National Insurance information available there.
For further guidance you can contact the Money & Pensions Service or your financial advisor.
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