People planning to claim the UK state pension should check their National Insurance (NI) record to identify any shortfalls in their payment history, as NI contributions, or lack of them, can affect a person’s entitlement to the state pension in later life.
A temporary window has been in place, enabling people to voluntarily top up NI contributions for tax years dating as far back as 2006, to ensure people were able to claim their full pension. However, this window will close on 6 April, and from 6 April 2023, the timeframe for making voluntary contributions will revert to the normal six years.
This means that in the 2023/24 tax year, it will be possible to make contributions going back to the 2017/18 tax year only. To qualify for the new maximum state pension, individuals must have at least 35 years of qualifying NI contributions, and they need a minimum of 10 qualifying years to receive a partial state pension.
It is advised that individuals check their NI record to identify any shortfalls in their NI history and take action before 5 April 2023, including identifying discrepancies between NI contributions paid and those showing on HMRC’s system, identifying missing NI credits, identifying shortfalls in contributions, and deciding whether to make voluntary NI contributions.