If you wish to make voluntary NI contributions to the ‘new state pension’ you may benefit from the current extension, but must now act before 5 April 2025

This extension could make all the difference in ensuring you receive all or some of the ‘new state pension’ and you should act now.

 

For those retiring on or after 6 April 2016 

In March 2023 HMRC announced an extension (to 31 July 2023) of the 5 April 2023 deadline for making additional National Insurance (NI) contributions for the period from 6 April 2006 to 5 April 2016. The demand for state pension forecasts and for making such contributions has exceeded the capacity of the HMRC staff concerned to deal with the applications, and the Government has therefore extended the deadline further to 5 April 2025. If you are planning on topping up your national insurance contributions to make sure you are entitled to the state pension, or to increase or maximise your state pension amount, you now have until 5 April 2025 to benefit from the current extension of going back to 2006, before it returns to going back to the normal six years. This extension could make all the difference in ensuring you receive all or some of the ‘new state pension’. 

 

Please note that for those whose NI record started before 6 April 2016, qualifying years may be higher and different rules could apply.

 

Background 

In order to claim the full ‘new state pension’ a person will need to have had 35 qualifying years of NI contributions (or NI credits) through employment or self employment, and to claim part payment of the ‘new state pension’ a person will need to have at least 10 qualifying years of NI contributions (or NI credits). National Insurance credits are given to people receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit or Carer’s Allowance or those qualifying for Home Responsibilities Protection (see here for further details).  There are many reasons as to why an individual may have shortfalls where for periods of time they have not paid any, or sufficient NI, and therefore may wish to take advantage of the opportunity to make voluntary NI contributions.

  

Typically, a common example of why a person may wish to make a voluntary contribution is where they are nearing retirement/state pension age and they don’t have enough qualifying years left, whilst still working, to pay NI and receive the full or part ‘new state pension’. 

 

How do I know if I have any shortfalls?

In the first instance, you will need to check your national insurance record to identify if a voluntary contribution is necessary, and you can do so here. Anybody wishing to plug any gaps by making a voluntary contribution and who would benefit from the extended period of going back to 6 April 2006 has until 5 April 2025 and should act now. Contributions are made at the current rate of £17.45 per week (£907.40 per annum) and may rise if the additional contributions are made after 5 April 2024. After 5 April 2025, you will only be able to go as far back as six years. 

 

What next? 

  1. Check your NI record 
  2. Identify if any NIC gaps need to be filled in order to receive some, more or all of the ‘new state pension’. 
  3. Consider if you would benefit by going back as far as 6 April 2006. 
  4. If you wish to make voluntary NI contributions, and need to do so before 5 April 2025 to benefit from the extension, allowing you to plug the gap as far back as 6 April 2006, do not delay in doing so now. 
  5. This is also a good time to identify if there are any discrepancies from what you have paid through NI contributions to what is showing on the system and to contact HMRC  if you have found any errors. 

 

If, after obtaining your pension forecast, you would like to discuss the position with us, please get in touch with our experts here at Gravita.

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