National Insurance is paid all the way through your life as you work. The National Insurance Contributions you pay will build up an entitlement to some state benefits like the state pension. There are different types of National Insurance Contributions, and the type you pay will depend on whether you are self-employed or employed. The amount you contribute will depend on your level of earnings.
Contributions to National Insurance are paid from the age of 16 until state retirement age, as long as you are earning above the minimum level. Class 1 National Insurance is paid if you are an employee, Class 2 is payable for anyone self-employed and Class 4 contributions are paid by anyone self-employed. Once you reach state retirement age, you don’t pay National Insurance Contributions. However, the state retirement age is changing in the future dependent on your date of birth and gender.
If you decide to continue working after you reach the state retirement age, your employer will require some proof of your age like a birth certificate or passport. However, as you reach state retirement age you will be given a pack by the Pension Service which includes a certificate of age exception. Once your employer has either this or proof of your age, contributions will not be deducted from your total earnings.
If you continue in self-employment, you may be required to pay Class 4 National Insurance Contributions in the year that you reach state retirement age. However, you won’t have to pay them the following year.