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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 2 National Insurance contributions: international: voluntary

Regulation 147 of the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001

Those who satisfy certain conditions that allow them to pay voluntary Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) for periods whilst working abroad, whether employed or self-employed

When a person has left the UK and no longer has a liability to pay UK NICs then they can, if certain conditions are satisfied (see NIM33065), apply to pay voluntary Class 2 NICs in order to maintain their UK National Insurance record for certain benefits, including retirement pension.

This opportunity to pay voluntary Class 2 NICs is open to those who are working abroad but who are not liable to pay UK Class 1 or Class 2 NICs under EC Regulations 883/2004 and 987/2009 (or the predecessor Regulations), or international social security agreements the UK has entered into with other countries, or regulation 146 of the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations (SSCR) 2001.

Voluntary Class 2 payers are people who, but for their employment being outside the UK, would be employed earners or self-employed earners.

The opportunity to pay UK voluntary Class 2 NICs is provided for in regulation 147 of the SSCR 2001.

As a voluntary Class 2 NICs payer, under regulation 147 of the SSCR 2001, is not gainfully employed as a self-employed earner in the UK, they do not have profits that are chargeable to income tax under Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005, and are not required to make Self Assessment tax returns.

Those who choose to pay voluntary Class 2 NICs from abroad under regulation 147 of the SSCR 2001 will be able to do so by one lump sum annual payment (see NIM72050) or by Direct Debit (see NIM72300).