Pension provision: NI contributions, qualifying years and second tier pensions

Statistics on NI contributions, people who qualify for State Pension and people with some kind of second tier pension cover.


  1. Documents

Use these first release statistics to find out how many people:

  • qualify for a State Pension
  • have some kind of second tier pension cover
  • pay various classes of National Insurance in each tax year

This series was previously known as ‘National Insurance Contributions and qualifying years and Second Tier Pension Provision’.

Latest release

We published the latest release of pension provision statistics on 30 April 2013. This updates the statistics previously released in May 2012.

Main points

In tax year 2011/12 there were:

  • 28.6 million people making National Insurance contributions
  • 27.4 million people with some form of second tier pension cover
  • 25.3 million people covered under the State Second Pension


Statistics on people who will qualify for State Pension under post Pension Reform Act 2007 rules are now published here. Compared to pre Pension Reform Act 2007 rules this shows a greater proportion of people qualifying for a higher percentage of State Pension.

The 2011/12 tax year figure is provisional so it is likely that the figures will change. More details on the level of retrospection expected can be found in the notes section of the latest release.

These statistics are affected by changes in the tax, National Insurance and pension systems – for example, the Pensions Reform Act 2007 and the Pensions Reform Act 2011.

Next Release

Planned release date 30 April 2014

Due to data issues with the Second Tier Pension Provision and Contributions and Qualifying Years tabulation tools for the financial year 2012 to 2013, DWP statisticians have decided to postpone the release of the statistics while additional investigation takes place. We are dealing with this postponement in accordance with the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice. We will publish further updates on this website and in the Welfare and benefits community at StatsUserNet.

Explore the data

You can explore the data – for example, by age, gender and method of qualification – with the National Insurance contributions and qualifying years and second tier pension provision tabulation tool.

The tabulation tool provides the latest estimates on people who have paid National Insurance contributions since 1978/79 and information on membership of contracted out pension schemes and SERPS/S2P membership since the introduction of contracted out schemes in 1978/79.

State Pension payment statistics are included in the DWP statistical summary.

The Office of National Statistics has statistics on earnings and statistics on second tier pensions in payment.

Policies and statements

In the interests of transparency and to comply with the UK Statistics Authority code of practice, we publish:

Tell us what you think

Complete our questionnaire to tell us what you think about our pension provision statistics. Your response will help us understand:

  • the way you use our statistics
  • what you consider important

Contacts and more information

There is contact information and more about DWP statistics on the Statistics at DWP page.