The deadline for filling in gaps in your National Insurance record from April 2006 has been extended to 5 April 2025, the original deadline being 5 April 2023. This had already been extended to 31 July 2023 but due to high demand on the service it has been further extended to 5 April 2025. HMRC said “Extending the voluntary National Insurance contributions deadline until 2025 means that people have more time to properly consider whether paying voluntary contributions is right for them and ensures no-one need miss out on the possibility of boosting their State Pension entitlements”.
Normally, it is only possible to make voluntary contributions for the past six tax years but this temporary extension allows you to fill in gaps by making voluntary contributions from 6 April 2006 to present. After 5 April 2024 the timeframe for making voluntary contributions will revert back to six years.
If you think that you have gaps in your NI record it is advisable to check before the changes come in, especially if they are more than six years ago. You can check your NI record via your personal tax account, by making an online request to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or by phoning HMRC.
If you identify any discrepancies in your record these can be corrected by contacting HMRC. If they are for periods you have made contributions or received credits HMRC can investigate, although generally the fastest way to resolve this is to provide evidence of the contribution or benefit credit in the missing period. If there are periods you wish to make voluntary contributions for, you can arrange payment with HMRC. The rate you will pay depends on your individual circumstances. At the moment, to qualify for a full state pension entitlement you need 35 years of qualifying National Insurance (NI) contributions. For part payment, you must have at least 10 years of contributions.
If you would like any advice on your NI record or making voluntary contributions, please contact one of our tax team.