You've been in a workplace, personal or stakeholder pension

Your starting amount may include a deduction if you were in certain:

  • earnings-related pension schemes at work (such as a final salary or career average pension) before 6 April 2016
  • workplace, personal or stakeholder pensions before 6 April 2012

You may have paid lower National Insurance contributions and paid into one of these pensions instead. This is known as being ‘contracted out’ of the Additional State Pension and will affect most people who have been in work.

You can check with your pension provider if you’ve been contracted out in the past. The Pension Tracing Service might be able to find your pension providers’ contact details if you’ve lost contact with them.

Changes to contracting out from 6 April 2016

On 6 April 2016 these rules changed so that if you were contracted out:

  • you’ll no longer be contracted out
  • you’ll pay more National Insurance (the standard amount)

Check if you were contracted out

Check your old payslips. You were contracted out if the National Insurance contributions line has the letter D or N next to it. You were not contracted out if it has a letter A.

If there’s a different letter, check with your employer or pension provider.

You’re more likely to have been contracted out if you worked in the public sector, for example:

  • the NHS
  • local councils
  • fire services
  • the civil service
  • teaching
  • police forces
  • the armed forces

You paid National Insurance at a lower rate if you were contracted out.