Find out how the record of your National Insurance contributions will affect the amount of state pension you are entitled to.

Your payments to the National Insurance System and the State Pension


State Pension

People are only eligible for a state pension if they have made sufficient National Insurance contributions and either been credited with those contributions or have paid enough of their own money into the system.

In April 2016, there was a change made to the number of years of National Insurance contributions that are required to qualify for the full state pension.

Rules for the new state pensions (after 2016)

Beginning in April 2016, the minimum number of years required to qualify for the full state pension was increased to 35 for both men and women.

In order to qualify for any type of state pension, you need to have made qualifying National Insurance contributions for a minimum of ten years (NICs). The amount that you will receive is directly proportional to the amount that you have contributed; for instance, if you have contributed the maximum amount for twenty years, you will receive 57% (20/35) of the total amount.

At the same time, the structure of the state pension was simplified to a single tier, transitioning from a system with two tiers (a basic state pension and an additional state pension).

Learn more about it here:

new state pension

Old state pension rules (until April 2016)

If you reached the age of eligibility for a state pension on or before April 6, 2016, you were required to have accumulated 30 years’ worth of national insurance contributions (NICs) in order to get a full state pension.

Additionally, individuals in this age range may still be eligible for the supplementary state pension; additionally, partners may be able to inherit a portion of this benefit in the event that their spouse passes away.

Find out more about the state pension, including a comprehensive rundown of the requirements needed to be eligible for the state pension.

The age of eligibility for state pensions rises


pensions rises

After reaching what is known as the “state pension age,” you will be eligible to make a claim for this payment.

Over the course of eight years, there has been a shift in the age at which women become eligible for the state pension. Between April 2018 and April 2020, the minimum age for receiving a state pension was raised from 65 to 66 for both men and women.

It is projected to reach 67 for those who will reach the age of eligibility for a state pension by the year 2028, and it will eventually reach 68 for those who will retire by the year 2044.

There is no reason to doubt that it won’t go further higher in the years to come.

Learn more about it here:

You can check if you are eligible for the state pension by using our pension age calculator.

Taking advantage of loopholes in the national insurance system



To qualify for the maximum state pension under the recently implemented criteria, you will need to have made full National Insurance contributions for a total of 35 years.

Because they had opted out of having their previous contributions count toward this limit, some people may discover that they are surprised to learn that this is the case.

This is not an option anymore, but it was available to some individuals who participated in defined benefit workplace pension plans in the past.

Because individuals were responsible for creating their own private pension plans, they had the ability to make lesser National Insurance contributions.

The quickest and easiest approach to determine whether or not this pertains to you is to get in touch with your former place of employment, inquire about your current pension plan, or review your previous pay stubs.

Find out additional information: what exactly was being contracted out.

Class 3 voluntary contributions for the National Insurance Program

You may be able to increase the amount of National Insurance contributions you make in certain situations, even if it is doubtful that you would be eligible for the full state pension because you haven’t made the required number of contributions.

Contributing to optional Class 3 NICs gives you the opportunity to fill in any gaps in your record of National Insurance contributions. These will be £15.85 per week in 2022-23, which is an increase from the previous rate of £15.40 per week in 2021-22.

A full year’s worth of National Insurance contributions will set you back £824.20 in 2022-23 (they were $800.80 less expensive if you had purchased them in 2021-22). If you are making up for lost time from prior years, you will be responsible for paying the fees associated with the current year rather than those for the year you are trying to catch up on.

In most cases, you can only go back as far as six years to make up for lost National Insurance contributions; however, certain individuals may be allowed to make up for lost time over a longer period of time.

The advantage of making more National Insurance Contributions (NICs) can be difficult to calculate because it is dependent not only on the qualifying threshold when you reach the age for state pension but also on the number of years of NICs you will have paid or been credited with.

In this comprehensive guide to supplementing the state pension, we cover all you need to know to get started.