So you have been paying everything you have been asked to pay over your working life and then comes the day to start claiming your state pension, and suddenly you find out that HMRC’s records include years when you made no National Insurance contributions and this means you are not entitled to the full state pension – could this have been avoided?
It appears that when National Insurance contributions changed from being collected quarterly to being part of the self-assessment system some self-employed taxpayers dropped out of the system. Some may also have inadvertently not opted to pay voluntary contributions because their profits fell below the relevant threshold to force a compulsory NI charge. And sometimes the HMRC computer system has just not matched contributions made to the right taxpayer record.
Everyone below state pension age should set up a personal tax account to check their NI records – see the links below. There may be ways of making up any gaps such as credits available depending on your circumstances, or you may want to look into making voluntary contributions. It is usually possible to pay voluntary contributions for six years but until 5 April 2023 it may be possible to make up for gaps between 6 April 2006 and 5 April 2016.
NI contributions also give rise to other benefits – many reasons to ensure the records of your contributions are correct
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