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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 1 structural overview from April 2009: the Lower Earnings Limit (‘LEL’)

Section 5, SSCBA 1992 and regulations 10 & 11, SS(C)R 2001

The Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) is the point at which employees start to build up entitlement to contributory benefits. The LEL is fixed each year at a weekly rate.

Section 7, The Pensions Act 2007

With effect from 6 April 2011, the LEL is no longer fixed by reference to the rate of Basic State Retirement Pension, Instead the power to amend the value of the LEL is a matter for HM Treasury. For guidance on how to calculate the LEL for pay intervals other than a week, see NIM01210.

For further guidance on NIC limits, see NIM11000 onwards.