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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: category letters

As always it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the correct category letter has been applied to the assessment of NICs based on the age and circumstances of the employee.

To ensure that secondary Class 1 NICs are correctly assessed the employer should verify:

  • the employee’s date of birth from normal sources such as a passport/birth certificate,
  • the apprenticeship scheme being operated is a qualifying scheme. See NIM01307.
  • the correct evidence is held. See NIM01308.

Two new National Insurance categories have been introduced to correctly assess secondary Class 1 NICs for apprentices under the age of 25. These new categories mirror the existing equivalent categories for non-apprentices and those over 25.

Important note: An apprentice under the age of 21 will use these category letters rather than those which are used for employees under 21. See NIM01298.

The new categories (and their existing equivalents) are:

New apprentice under-25 category letter Description Existing equivalent category letter
H Standard rate contributions A
G Mariners standard rate contributions R