National Insurance and tax after State Pension age

Stop paying National Insurance

You pay National Insurance contributions to qualify for certain benefits including the State Pension.

If you’re employed, you pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions as a percentage of your earnings up to State Pension age.

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 when you reach State Pension age - even if you’re still working.

You’ll continue paying Class 4 contributions until the end of the tax year in which you reach State Pension age.

For example, you reach State Pension age on 6 September 2020. You’ll stop making Class 4 contributions on 5 April 2021 and pay your final Class 4 bill by 31 January 2022, together with your Income Tax.

If you’re self employed, you still need to send a Self Assessment tax return for each year you work - even after you reach State Pension age.

You can claim back National Insurance if you’ve overpaid.

If you continue working

Show your employer proof of your age (a birth certificate or passport, for example) to make sure you stop paying National Insurance.

If you do not want your employer to see your birth certificate or passport, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can send you a letter to show them instead.

The letter will confirm:

  • you’ve reached State Pension age
  • you do not need to pay National Insurance

You’ll need to write to HMRC explaining why you do not want your employer to see your birth certificate or passport.

National Insurance contributions and Employers Office
HM Revenue and Customs

You’ll be asked to send your birth certificate or passport for verification if HMRC does not have a record of your date of birth. Certified copies are accepted.

You can also show a certificate of age exception (CA4140) if you have one.