This page is for you if you will reach your state
pension age before October 2015 and on or after 6 April
Sometimes you don't have to pay national insurance
contributions (NICs). This might be because you're not
working or you don't earn enough. You may be able to pay
voluntary NICs so that you can still claim certain state benefits,
including the basic state pension.
However, your entitlement to certain state benefits and the
amount you can get depends on your NIC record. (In some cases it
depends on your spouse or civil partner's contributions.) These
- state pension
- contribution-based jobseeker's allowance
- bereavement allowance
- contribution-based employment and support allowance.
HMRC has made
changes to extend the time limits for paying voluntary NICs for the
2006-07 to 2015-16 tax years inclusive, to ensure contributors who
reach state pension age under the new state pension system are not
Those affected will have more time to pay voluntary class 2 or
class 3 contributions for the years from 2006-07 to 2015-16.
The extended time limits apply if:
- A person reaches state pension age on or after 6 April 2016;
- The person makes payment by 5 April 2023.
The amount to be paid is as follows:
- If paid by 5 April 2019, the amount payable is the rate that
applied in the 2012-13 tax year for the tax years 2006-07 to
- For the remaining years, up to and including 2015-16, higher
rate provisions will not apply until 5 April 2019.
- If payment is made after 5 April 2019, the rates may have
You can find further details here:
Paying voluntary NICs
The NICs that you can pay voluntarily are normally Class 3
contributions, but if you're self-employed or living abroad,
you can pay Class 2 contributions instead.
Before deciding whether to pay voluntary NICs, you should make
- there are gaps in your NI record for which payment can be
- you know how much you need to pay
- you understand the benefits of paying
If you are unsure, you should ring the DWP Future Pension Centre
on 0191 218 3600.
When you can't pay voluntary NICs
You cannot always pay Class 3 contributions; for example,
- you're a married woman (or a widow) and paid reduced rate
contributions for that year
- you reached state pension age in that year
- you're entitled to NI credits - although there are exceptions
to this rule.
Deciding whether to pay voluntary NICs
It isn't always right for you to pay voluntary NICs. It
depends on several things, for example, how much you've paid in
already and when you reach your state pension age.
Click here to read more about deciding whether to
pay voluntary NICs.
The cost of voluntary NICs
The cost depends on the year you want to pay for. The cost
for the 2014/15 tax
- £13.90 a week for Class 3 voluntary NICs
- £2.75 a week for Class 2 voluntary NICs
Periods spent abroad
You may be able to pay voluntary NICs if you're living abroad,
or fill in gaps from when you were living abroad. There are
special rules for this, and you can find them here.