The Government has confirmed that individuals wanting to voluntarily fill gaps in their National Insurance (NI) record, for entitlement to state pension, have more time do so.

Do you have enough qualifying NI years?

Under the new state pension system, introduced in 2016, how much you receive is dependent on how many ‘qualifying’ National Insurance years you have accumulated.

Broadly speaking, anyone reaching the new state pension age on or after 6 April 2016 will need 35 qualifying NI years to receive full state pension, and at least 10 qualifying years to receive any state pension at all.

If you reached or are going to reach state pension age after 5 April 2016, and you have gaps in your NI record between April 2006 – April 2016, you can retrospectively plug these with voluntary contributions.

Deadline extended for voluntary NI contributions

The deadline for making use of the 10-year provision under transitional arrangements, in respect of the new state pension, was originally set as 5 April 2023. However, taxpayers now have until 31 July 2023.

After 31 July, voluntary contributions can still be made, but only for the period ending 6 years prior to the tax year in question – (i.e., 2016-17).

Eligible taxpayers can find out how to check their National Insurance record, obtain a State Pension forecast, decide if making a voluntary National Insurance contribution is worthwhile for them and their pension, and how to make a payment on GOV.UK.

We can help you to understand your NI record and what it means but, for financial advice in respect of pensions and other investments, you will need to talk to an Independent Financial Adviser.

Update 14/06/2023:

The deadline for making voluntary NI contributions, to plug gaps in NI records for tax years April 2006 to April 2017, has been extended to 5 April 2025.

Income Record Viewer – giving your agent access

In light of what we’ve covered so far, we thought it worth mentioning that HMRC has recently launched an ‘Income Record Viewer’ service, which enables taxpayers to grant agents access to view:

  • PAYE information for the current tax year, and previous four tax years
  • Employment records, including time in employment, taxable benefits and any gap where no record is held by HMRC
  • Income records
  • State and private pension information

Regardless of whether you have already authorised an agent to act on your behalf, the Income Record Viewer requires a new ‘digital handshake’ to be completed, which will require you to have a Government Gateway account.

How can we help?

For support to understand your current state or private pension position, and the tax implications of making voluntary contributions, or to discuss giving us access to view your income records via HMRCs new service, contact us today.

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