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Have you checked your National Insurance record?.

The 5 April 2023 is the deadline for checking your National Insurance (NI) record.  

This is important if you are thinking of claiming a UK state pension. 

Can you claim UK state pension? 

Understanding your eligibility for the UK state pension and the amount you may be able to claim in later life can be complex.  

There are a number of requirements you will need to meet in order to receive the full state pension, and various criteria may restrict the amount you receive.  

To be eligible for the ‘new state pension’, you must: 

  • Have 35 qualifying years of NI contributions. 
  • Have retired on or after 6 April 2016.  
  • Have contributed for a minimum of 10 years to receive part payment of the ‘new state pension’. If your NI record began before 6 April 2016, you may encounter an increase in the number of years of NI contributions that are required. 

If you have taken a break from work to look after children you should be aware that if you claimed Child Benefit, you may have been credited with NICs until your youngest child was 12 – even if you weren’t earning. 

If you haven’t contributed enough, you may not be eligible 

If you have not contributed enough, there is a likelihood you will not be able to claim the new state pension. 

To top up your contribution history, you may think about making voluntary NI contributions. 

If you are thinking of doing this, we recommend seeking professional advice. 

How long do you have to make voluntary contributions? 

You can fill gaps in your NIC history from 6 April 2006 to the present date by making voluntary contributions. 

Typically, you can only make these contributions for the previous six tax years. There is currently an extension in place but, from 6 April 2023, the timeframe will again revert to six years. 

As a result, in the 2023/24 tax year, you will be able to make contributions going back to the 2017/18 tax year only. 

Checking your NI record 

Before 5 April 2023, it is vital to check your NI record to detect any gaps in your NI history. This can be done via the Government’s NI gateway.  

You must also ensure that your record includes NI contributions paid through PAYE or Self-Assessment, and any other NI credits gained.  

If there are any errors that need to be fixed, you must contact HM Revenue & Customs promptly so that they can update their records.  

For advice on checking your National Insurance record, voluntary contributions and claiming state pension, get in touch. 

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