National Insurance contributions build up your entitlement to your State Pension.
If you’re employed you pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions as a percentage of your earnings.
If you’re self-employed you pay Class 2 contributions at a flat weekly rate and Class 4 contributions annually, as a percentage of your taxable profits.
What happens at State Pension age
- you stop paying Class 1 and Class 2 contributions, even if you’re still working
- you still have to pay Class 4 contributions if you have taxable profits from the year you reach State Pension age - the next year, you’ll be exempt
You can claim back National Insurance if you’ve overpaid.
If you continue working, show your employer proof of your age, eg a birth certificate or passport, to make sure you stop paying National Insurance.
If you don’t want your employer to see your birth certificate or passport, write to HMRC giving the reason. HMRC will then send you a letter confirming you have reached State Pension age.
HM Revenue & Customs
National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
If HMRC doesn’t have a record of your date of birth, you’ll be asked to send your birth certificate or passport for verification. Certified copies are accepted.