The payment of National Insurance contributions entitles people to certain state benefits such as the state pension, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits. NICs are payable if you are:
- aged over 16;
- an employee earning more than £184 a week (2021/22);
- self-employed with profits over £6,515 (2021/22).
In order to get a full state pension, you must have made NICs for 30 years (or have sufficient National Insurance credits). However, you’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the new full State Pension if you do not have a National Insurance record before 6 April 2016.
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How do I check my National Insurance record?
For the most recent available information, the best place to check your national insurance record is online using your personal tax account if you have registered for this service. This will cover up to the start of the current tax year.
Or, you can request a National Insurance statement from the GOV.UK website for tax years that ended more than 12 months ago.
Both will tell you:
- what National Insurance payments or credits you have for the tax years requested;
- what class of contributions you made;
- if there are any payment or credit gaps (years with payment gaps may not count towards your State Pension);
- whether you can pay voluntary contributions to fill the gaps and how much it will cost.
However, neither tell you how much State Pension you're likely to get.
You can also call the National Insurance helpline on 0300 200 3500 to request a statement.