Paying National Insurance

You pay National Insurance contributions if you are an employee or self-employed and are aged 16 and over, providing your earnings are more than a certain level.

National Insurance contributions build up your entitlement to certain social security benefits, including the State Pension.

You stop paying National Insurance contributions at State Retirement age (65 for men and for women will gradually increase to 65 over the period 2010 to 2020)

National Insurance number

Residents working in the UK should have a National Insurance number. If you need to apply for a National Insurance number you can call on 0345 600 0643, the line is open Monday to Friday from 8am top 6pm

If you are moving to the UK

You must have the right to work or study in the UK to get a National Insurance number.  You can only apply for it once you're in the UK.  If you don't have a National Insurance number, you must apply.   

National Insurance number interview

Jobcentre Plus may write to you and ask you to come to an interview.  You will be asked about your circumstances and why you need a National Insurance number.

The letter will also tell you which documents to bring to prove your identity, eg:

  • passport/identity card
  • residence permit
  • birth/adoption certificate
  • marriage/civil partnership certificate
  • driving licence

Age Exception Certificate

If you stay in employment after State Pension age you can apply to the HMRC for an Age Exception Certificate so that you don't pay NICs.

Give this to us to action or provide us with a copy of your birth certificate or passport as evidence that you have reached State Pension age.