Pay missing National Insurance before the tax year is up!

Published: 17/01/2023 By Hannah McCormack

5th April 2023 is the deadline for people to top up any missing payment gaps in their National Insurance (NI) record. Top ups are usually capped at 6 tax years previous, therefore 2016/17 would have been the last year you could have topped up to, but those eligible can now fill in any payment gaps dating back to 2006/07 which is an additional 10 years.

Not having a fully paid NI record affects your eligibility to a full state pension, any payment gaps could mean you wouldn’t be entitled to receive the full amount. Check how much state pension you are currently forecast to get on the gov website here see an example case below, there is also an option to 'view your National Insurance record', here you will see if there are any payment gaps.

By paying voluntary NI contributions to make up missing payments in your record, your state pension could see a significant increase, potentially by thousands; but each person’s circumstance is different and therefore we suggest seeking advice before any payments are made.  

This top up option is only available to those who fall into the new state pension system, which are those who reached or will reach state pension age after 5 April 2016, more importantly it must be applied for before 5th April 2023! This pension system currently provides a weekly pension of £185.15 but as stated, how much each individual gets depends on the number of qualifying NI years and other factors.

If you are nearing pension age then it should be relatively simple to see if you need to make the additional voluntary NI payments to ensure you are guaranteed the full state pension, however those aged over 45 with gaps would perhaps need to weigh up if making top up payments is more beneficial than being prepared to work the required amount of years to get the full pension. If you are aged over 45 we suggest checking what you are entitled to sooner rather than later as the window to make voluntary NI contributions dating back to 2006/07 is only open for a few months.  

As you can see from this example below, although this person has gaps in their previous years NI record as long as they continue to fully contribute their NI for a further 11 years (completed by April 2050) they will be entitled to full state pension therefore would be no need for this person to top up.