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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 1 structural overview: abolition of secondary NICs for apprentices under the age of 25: background

Section 9B Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act (SSCBA) 1992 – Zero-rate secondary Class 1 contributions for certain apprentices

In April 2016, the National Insurance Contributions Act 2015 introduced Section 9B into the SSCBA. The secondary Class 1 rate of National Insurance will be 0% for certain apprentices under the age of 25. The 0% rate will apply to earnings between the Secondary Threshold (ST) and the Apprentice Upper Secondary Threshold (AUST). See NIM01309 for further information about the AUST.

The definition of what constitutes a qualifying apprentice can be found at NIM01307.

The change will apply to new and existing apprenticeships. New category letters (see NIM01310) have been introduced to correctly assess Class 1 NICs for apprentices under the age of 25.

Although the secondary Class 1 rate of NICs is 0%, the employer will remain a secondary contributor and will continue to have liability to operate statutory payments for employees.