Posted on: 24-02-2015 in Finance
Some information in the article may be out of date. You can find a more recent version here.
Updated May 2019: Check your NICs online! Your National Insurance Contributions (NICs) record decides whether you get a UK State Pension. Head to the UK Government NICs website to access details of your own NI credits – but, first, discover below what you’ll need to use the official NICs site easily (including what ID you will need to register online). Here’s the opening page: Check your National Insurance Record
National Insurance Contributions are important because they relate to how much UK State pension people receive. Currently, the rules state that: “To get the full basic State Pension you need a total of 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits … … If you have fewer than 35 qualifying years, your basic State Pension will be less than £175.20 per week but you might be able to top up by paying voluntary National Insurance contributions.”
The HMRC website allows you to:
(Note that, as with all tax affairs, variations are likely to apply depending on personal circumstances when it comes to any of these calculations.)
This login security set-up is quite stringent and may take some time. The one thing you cannot do without is your National Insurance number. If you have lost it, speak to the HMRC online or on the phone and read their advice on how to find it.
Assuming you get through security, you’re into the easy bit. Choose now whether you want to:
This option leads immediately to a print preview of an official letter from the HMRC affirming your National Insurance number. This certification is sometimes required by HR Departments from new joiners.
The following screen is where it all happens: Here you can:
If you are behind with your National Insurance Contributions, the new HMRC website can prove something of a wake-up call. If you have gaps in your NIC record, check for yourself what happened that year: When you’ve had a look yourself, get in touch with an IFA to see how NICs and your UK State Pension eligibility feature in your whole financial picture. Take this opportunity to firm up your retirement planning. And, if you’re a UK expat working outside of Britain in 2018, you might want to have a quick look at the key NIC issue of Should you be paying National Insurance as a UK expat?
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