National Insurance and tax after State Pension age

2. 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

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

If you’re self employed, you still need to send a Self Assessment tax return for the year 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 don’t 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 don’t need to pay National Insurance

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

National Insurance contributions and Employers Office
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AN

You’ll be asked to send your birth certificate or passport for verification if HMRC doesn’t 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.