Checking your National Insurance record before 5 April 2023
From 6 April 2023, the timeframe for making voluntary National Insurance contributions is changing.
To ensure that you don’t miss out on topping up your qualifying years, we advise that you check your record before this date.
Qualifying years and the new state pension
In general, to qualify for the maximum ‘new state pension’ (received by those retiring on or after 6 April 2016) a person must have 35 qualifying years of National Insurance (NI) contributions.
If you have not contributed enough prior to reaching the state pension age, you may not be able to claim state pension, or receive the full state pension amount.
If you do not have enough qualifying years, it may be beneficial to make voluntary contributions to top up your qualifying years and potentially increase the state pension that you will receive.
Making voluntary contributions
Normally, you can make voluntary contributions for the previous six years but HMRC currently have an extension in place meaning you can ‘top up’ any gaps from 6 April 2006 to the present date.
From 6 April 2023, the timeframe for making voluntary contributions will revert back to the normal six years.
We therefore advise, to take the opportunity before 5 April 2023 to check your National Insurance record and identify any shortfalls in contributions.
Your NI record can be checked direct with HMRC online here. You will need to set up a Government Gateway to access your record if you do not already have one.
Actions to take before 5 April 2023:
- Check your NI record
- Identify any discrepancies between NI contributions paid and those showing on HMRC’s system
- Identify any NI credits that are missing from periods in which they should have been received (eg, on receipt of universal credit or child benefit)
- Identify any shortfalls in contributions
- Contact HMRC if you think there are any errors
- Decide whether to make voluntary NI contributions