You may be able to pay voluntary Class 3 contributions to fill gaps in your National Insurance record to qualify for the State Pension.
You can usually only pay for gaps in your National Insurance record from the past 6 tax years. The tax year ends on 5 April.
For example, you have until 5 April 2029 to make up for gaps for the tax year 2022 to 2023.
You can also choose to set up a regular payment to cover gaps in the current tax year.
This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).
Before you pay
Check your National Insurance record to find out:
- if you have any gaps
- if you’re eligible to pay voluntary contributions
- how much it will cost
Voluntary contributions do not always increase your State Pension.
If you’re below State Pension age, contact the Future Pension Centre to find out if you’ll benefit from voluntary contributions.
If you’ve reached State Pension age, contact the Pension Service to find out if you’ll benefit from voluntary contributions.
Check if you’re eligible for National Insurance credits - it could mean you do not have to pay.
You can pay online by approving a payment through your online bank account.
You do not need to contact HM Revenue and Customs (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
You can make same or next day payments:
- by approving a payment through your online bank account
- by online or telephone banking (by Faster Payments or CHAPS)
- at your bank or building society
Check your bank’s transaction limits and processing times before making a payment.
If 5 April 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 want to make regular payments
If you know you’ll have gaps in your National Insurance record in the current tax year, you can make regular payments to cover the shortfall.
If you want to pay quarterly, contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). They’ll send you a payment request every July, October, January and April.
If you want to pay monthly, set up a Direct Debit.