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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 1 structural overview: payment of earnings made after employee’s death

Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, Sections 2(1), 3(1) and 6(1)

Section 3(1) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (the Act) explains what is considered “earnings” and “earner” as follows:

(a)“earnings” includes any remuneration or profit derived from an employment; and

(b)“earner” shall be construed accordingly.


Where any payment of earnings is made to an employee after their death, the payment cannot be considered earnings. An employee, after their death, cannot be considered an employed earner as defined by the Act. No liability for primary or secondary NICs can exist.


Directors are treated the same as employees, however where remuneration was voted or made available to them prior to their death, even if the actual payment was made after their death, there will still be a liability for NICs on those earnings.