Until now you could check your national insurance contributions and make voluntary contributions for incomplete years going back to 2006. These voluntary contributions were often worth making when compared to the benefit of earning additional full years’ payments towards your final state pension amount.
Although some may have received NI credits, for example, a parent receiving child benefit, other people could easily miss making the full contribution due to sabbaticals, gap years, self employment or part time/casual work. These NI credits also affect other benefits such as employment benefit or support allowance.
Under current rules, In order to receive the full state pension, anyone retiring after 2016 must have 35 qualifying years of NI contributions.
Until 5th April 2023, you have the ability to top up incomplete years as far back as 2006, but this is changing, and after 5th April 2023 you will only be able to make voluntary contributions for the last 6 years. So for 2023/2024, you will only be able to top up for 2017/18 onwards.
We would recommend therefore that you check your NI record as soon as possible and top up your contributions should you consider that to be appropriate. You should also contact HMRC should you find any errors in your contributions.
Topping up is pretty simple, but don’t leave it to the last minute in case you need to ask HMRC anything at their busiest time.
Here’s your checklist:
- Check your NI record
- For incomplete years, check your NI contributions against the figures shown
- Check for missing contributions for years covered by NI credits eg when receiving child benefit
- Contact HMRC for any errors
- Make voluntary contributions if you feel they are worthwhile.
If you need further clarification, or tax planning for retirement, please do get in touch.