You make Class 2 National Insurance contributions if you’re self-employed to qualify for benefits like the State Pension.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Most people pay the contributions as part of their Self Assessment tax bill.

You do not pay through Self Assessment if you’re any of the following:

  • an examiner, moderator, invigilator or person who set exam questions
  • running a business involving land or property
  • a minister of religion who does not receive a salary or stipend
  • living abroad and paying voluntary Class 2 contributions
  • a person who makes investments - but not as a business and without getting a fee or commission
  • a non-UK resident who’s self-employed in the UK
  • working abroad

If you do not pay through Self Assessment, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will send you a payment request by the end of October. Call the newly self-employed helpline if you do not get one.

If you miss a Self Assessment deadline

You must call National Insurance: general enquiries if you filed a Self Assessment return after the 31 January deadline and it included voluntary Class 2 contributions, or you want to pay voluntary contributions.

Your contributions may be added to the wrong year on your National Insurance record or refunded if you do not.

Pay online

You’ll need:

  • your online banking details
  • the 18-digit reference number shown on your HMRC payment request

Do not leave any spaces between the digits of your reference number.

If you do not have an 18-digit reference number you can get help from the National Insurance Helpline.

Your payment may be delayed if you use the wrong reference number.

Pay now

Payment confirmation

You do not need to contact HMRC to check your payment has been received.

It will appear in your HMRC account. This can take up to 8 weeks.

How long it takes

Make sure your payment reaches HMRC by the deadline. The time you need to allow depends on how you pay.

You can make same or next day payments:

You can pay within 3 days using online or telephone banking (by Bacs) or by cheque through the post.

Allow 21 working days to set up a Direct Debit if you have not set one up before.

If the deadline falls on a weekend or bank holiday, make sure your payment reaches HMRC on the last working day before it (unless you’re paying using online or telephone banking (by Faster Payments).

If you miss the deadline

You might have to pay more to fill the gap in your National Insurance record. HMRC will write to you to tell you how much you need to pay.