National Insurance

Topic Selected: Money and Finance

General Article icon Type: General Article
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Overview

You pay National Insurance contributions to build up your entitlement to certain state benefits, including the State Pension.
You pay National Insurance if you’re:

  • 16 or over;
  • an employee earning above £149 a week;
  • self-employed making a profit over £5,725 a year (unless you get an exception).

The exact amount you pay depends on:

  • how much you earn;
  • whether you’re employed or self-employed.

You may also want to pay voluntary contributions to make up for gaps in your National Insurance record. For example, you can have a gap when you weren’t working and didn’t get any state benefits.

When you stop paying

If you’re employed, you stop paying Class 1 National Insurance when you reach the State Pension age.
If you’re self-employed you stop paying:

  • Class 2 National Insurance when you reach State

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