Chantal Baker, is the director and founder of Champ Consultants Ltd, an accountancy and tax consultancy practice in Caterham.

The window to be able to top up your National Insurance (NI) record is being closed on 31st July 2023.

Your NI contributions levels affect the amount of state pension you will receive as well as other benefits such as employment and support allowance.

Currently, you can make voluntary contributions to prevent any gaps in your NI record, going back to 2016. The period in which you can go back is usually only for 2 years and this will be the window available from 1st August 2023.

Until 31st July 2023, you can top up NI gaps going back to 2016/2017. This is over 10 years of NI points. This could be the difference between a full state pension, a reduced one or none at all.

It is advisable to check your NI record in order to determine if you have any gaps in your NI contributions. These can then be topped up through voluntary contributions or it may be that HMRC does not have correct data on your circumstances.

You can check your record through this link: check your NI record

These are my suggested actions that you should take when reviewing your NI record:

  • Check your NI record to see if there are any gaps
  • Identify any periods where you may have been on maternity leave or universal credit and ensure these credits have been allocated to your account. There should be no gaps for these periods.
  • Identify any shortfalls in contributions
  • Contact HMRC if there are any errors
  • Decide if you want to make any voluntary NI contributions.

It is advisable to discuss the decision as to whether to make any voluntary contributions with a professional so you understand the benefits of increasing these years based on the number of years you have contributed.

Please always seek professional advice before taking any action.  We are happy to answer questions in future issues.  Please send your questions through the contact us page on our website: 

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