The government has rolled out a new online service aimed at assisting individuals in identifying gaps within their National Insurance (NI) record and facilitating voluntary contributions, eliminating the need to contact for a reference number.

What is your NI record?

An individual’s NI record plays a pivotal role in determining eligibility for state retirement pension and other contributory social security benefits, based largely on earnings for employees and the self-employed, with some individuals benefiting from NI credits. Those with gaps in their NI record may find it beneficial to consider making voluntary contributions.

This newly introduced online platform not only assesses the potential impact of voluntary contributions on the state pension amount but also highlights any missing contributions or credits in the record. Moreover, individuals are advised to evaluate if they will accumulate adequate qualifying years before reaching their expected state retirement age, potentially rendering voluntary contributions unnecessary. Given the complexity of this decision, seeking personalised advice is recommended.

Previously, individuals could identify record gaps online via the personal tax account but needed to contact HMRC for a payment reference, a step that is now obsolete. Payment can now be securely processed through the new service, with individuals receiving confirmation of payment and record updates. Access to the service requires personal tax account sign-in details or can be conveniently accessed through HMRC’s app.

Typically, voluntary NI contributions are limited to the preceding six tax years; however, an extension has been implemented. Individuals now have until 5 April 2025 to address gaps in their NI record from 6 April 2006 to 5 April 2018 through voluntary contributions.

It’s important to note that the service is currently unavailable to recipients of state pension, the self-employed, and individuals residing outside the UK with gaps incurred while working abroad. HMRC provides guidance on managing the NI record for those excluded from the service.

For further information on your NI contributions, contact us today.