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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Credits: post 1975 credits: autocredits

Regulation 32 of the State Pension Regulations 2015 (SI No 173)

The above regulation allows for credits for persons approaching State Pension age. These credits, known as ‘autocredits’ because they are given automatically, were made available to men from 6 April 1983 for the tax year in which they reach age 60 and the following 4 tax years. The credits are awarded to ensure that each of those years is a qualifying year for benefit purposes.

Autocredits are not awarded for the tax year in which a man reaches age 65 or any subsequent tax years.

A self-employed earner will only receive autocredits for a tax year in which he has profits below the small profits threshold or is not liable for Class 2 National Insurance contributions as a result of ill-health, or other circumstances listed in regulation 43 of the Contribution Regulations 2001 (SI No 1004). A credit will be given for any week or weeks for which he meets the conditions.

Autocredits are not awarded for any tax year in which a man is absent from Great Britain or Northern Ireland for more than 182 days.

From 2010 onwards, autocredits are being phased out in line with the equalisation of State Pension age (SPa) for men and women. Men will only receive the credits from the year in which they reach the female State Pension age (SPa) and subsequent tax years before age 65. Therefore the last full tax year in which male and female SPa’s remain different is the tax year 2017 to 2018.

For example:

  • a woman born between 6 October and 5 November 1950 reaches SPa on 6 May 2011 - a man born between those dates will therefore be given autocredits for the 4 tax years from tax year 2011 to 2012 to tax year 2014 to 2015
  • a woman born between 6 September and 5 October 1953 reaches SPa on 6 March 2018 - a man born between those dates will therefore be given autocredits for the tax year 2017 to 2018, the last year for which autocredits are available
  • a woman born between 6 October and 5 November 1953 reaches SPa on 6 July 2018 - a man born between those dates will not be entitled to autocredits because the last year for which autocredits will be given is the tax year 2017 to 2018