Research and analysis

Class 3A voluntary National Insurance contributions: results from an online survey

Results from an online survey about additional voluntary National Insurance contributions at State Pension age


Class 3A voluntary National Insurance contributions: results from an on-line survey

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


Ad hoc report by Patrick Raffan and Maria Strudwick

Following an announcement in the 2013 Autumn Statement the government brought forward a measure in the Pensions Bill 2013 to introduce a new class of voluntary National Insurance contribution (VNIC) – Class 3A. This would allow existing pensioners and those reaching State Pension age before 6 April 2016 the opportunity to gain additional State Pension by making Class 3A National Insurance contributions. It will provide an opportunity for pensioners to improve their retirement income by obtaining inflation-proofed extra additional State Pension and offer protection to surviving spouses or civil partners. This could be particularly beneficial to women and other groups who have not done well under additional State Pensions and have not previously been able to top up their State Pension.

This research was commissioned to provide understanding of the likely take-up of Class 3A VNIC. The research was carried out in February 2014 with 2000 people nearing or at current State Pension age. The research consisted of an online survey conducted by Ipsos MORI using members of their online survey panel.

Online polling on this offer was first conducted in June 2013.

Further polling has been undertaken to see if levels of interest have changed in light of a policy announcement on Class 3A in the 2013 Autumn Statement and the addition of further information available. It includes rates for each age band which are based on final rates estimated by the Government Actuaries Department as opposed to two different estimated rate options included in the previous polling.

We have used this research to show:

  • levels of interest in taking up voluntary contributions having been given final actuarial fair prices
  • reasons people say they would or would not make the contributions
  • the amount of units people might be interested in taking up
  • how people would fund these contributions
Published 20 March 2014