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National Insurance Contributions are paid by anyone who is aged 16 years old or over and either employed or self-employed. National Insurance Contributions are paid to build an entitlement to specified state benefits, like the state pension. The amount you pay depends upon whether you are self-employed or employed and the amount you earn.

Contributions are payable until state pension retirement age. It is also possible to pay National Insurance Contributions on a voluntary basis. Each National Insurance number is unique to an individual, consisting of two letters followed by recordssix numbers and ending with a letter. The National Insurance number you receive at the age of 16 is yours for life and must be kept safe for future reference.

You will need your National Insurance number when you contact HM Revenue & Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions and the local council. Your employer will also need your National Insurance number to ensure that all contributions made are credited to your record. You will pay Class 2 NICs if you are self-employed, which have a flat rate of £2.50 a week. Class 4 NICs are also payable for anyone self-employed, calculated as a percentage of your profits. The rate for profits between £7225 and £42,475 is nine percent. Any income above this level is payable at an extra two percent.
If you are employed, paying Class 1 NICs you will pay 12 percent of income between £139 and £817 per week. Earnings over this level are charged at an extra two percent.

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