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