National Insurance contributions (NIC) help to pay for some state benefits, including retirement pensions. NIC can also earn you the right to receive certain benefits.

National Insurance Number (NINO)

In order to work or claim benefits in the UK, you must have a National Insurance number (NINO) and pay NIC contributions. Your NI Number is combination of numbers and letters and is unique to you.

You will be sent a National Insurance number in the 3 month period before your 16th birthday if both the following are true:

  • you live in the UK
  • a parent or guardian has filled in a Child Benefit claim form for you.

If you did not receive a NI number you can find out how to apply for one at this link.

An explantion of NI numbers is available at this link.

National Insurance Contributions (NIC)

You have to pay NIC to qualify for certain benefits and the State Pension.

You pay NIC if you are:

  • either employed or self-employed; and
  • aged 16 or over but below state pension age.

You pay NIC on your employment income and profits from self-employment and the amount you pay depends on how much you earn.

You do not pay NIC on pension income.

You stop paying NIC when you reach state pension age, even if you continue to work.

An explanation of National Insurance is available from GOV.UK.

Additional information is available at the following links:

National Insurance changes 2024-01-09

Further details are available from GOV.UK

On Saturday 6th January 2024 the main rate of National Insurance for employed and self employed individuals was cut by 2p from 12% to 10%.

You can see how these changes affect you at the following links:

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