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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 2 National Insurance contributions: special cases: examiners and moderators

Regulation 2(1) and 2(3) of, and Part II of Schedule 1 to, the Social Security (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations 1978 (SI 1978 No 1689)

For social security purposes, examiners and moderators are treated as self-employed earners.

Under section 2(2)(b) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (SSCBA), regulations may provide for a person in an employment of any prescribed description to be treated for the purposes of the SSCBA 1992 as falling within one or other of the categories of earner defined in subsection (1) – that is either an employed earner or a self-employed earner.

Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations 1978 provides that any person holding an employment in which they are responsible for the conduct or administration of any examination leading to any certificate, diploma, degree or professional qualification and (under that employment) they are:

  • an examiner, moderator or invigilator (or employed in any similar capacity); or
  • engaged to set questions or tests for any such examination,

is to be treated as a self-employed earner for NICs purposes, provided that the work they do under the contract pertaining to that employment is to be performed in less than 12 months.

Those falling within this category of earners are not liable to pay Class 2 NICs but are entitled to pay under section 11(6) of SSCBA 1992. They are also required, under section 18 SSCBA 1992, to pay special Class 4 NICs if they earned above the Class 4 Lower Profits Limit.

From 6 April 2015, those examiners, moderators, invigilators etc engaged directly by the examining board under a ‘contract of service’ will be chargeable to tax as an employed earner under Pay As You Earn (PAYE). Their earnings will not constitute profits chargeable to income tax under Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005. Such individuals will however remain as self-employed earners for NICs purposes and will be entitled to pay voluntary Class 2 NICs (and must also continue paying special Class 4 NICs, where applicable).

Voluntary Class 2 NICs can be paid either by an annual lump sum (NIM72050) or by Direct Debit (NIM72300).