State Pension and Your National Insurance Record
Your State Pension is based on your National Insurance record when you reach State Pension age. You need to have 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension. You need 35 qualifying years to get the full State Pension.
When you’re working you pay National Insurance and get a qualifying year if:
- you’re employed and earning over £242 a week from one employer,
- you’re self-employed and paying National Insurance contributions,
- you are not working and you claim Child Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Carer’s Allowance.
Gaps in your National Insurance record
You can have gaps in your National Insurance record and still get the full State Pension. Your State Pension forecast will tell you how much State Pension you may get and show you if your record has gaps.
If you have gaps in your National Insurance record you may be able to
make voluntary National Insurance contributions to close the gaps.
You can make voluntary contributions to fill gaps in your National Insurance record, usually going back for up to 6 years.
However, until 5 April 2023 it is possible to make voluntary contributions to fill gaps going back to 2006. This provides a big opportunity for anyone who has gaps older than 6 years to improve their contribution record and improve their state pension. If this is you, act now, before the window of opportunity closes.