National Insurance is paid by everyone in the UK aged between 16 and the state pension age. To make sure that contributions are recorded correctly, anyone working in the UK should have a National Insurance number.
Why do I have to pay National Insurance?
Payments to the National Insurance scheme build up your entitlement to specific state benefits, such as the state pension.
You pay National Insurance Contributions when you are either employed or self-employed. You can also make voluntary contributions to ensure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record.
When will I get my National Insurance number?
If you were born in the UK, you will usually be sent your National Insurance number just before your 16th birthday. You can also apply for an NI number, but you may need to prove you have the right to work. For example, if you enter the UK on a visa, you may need to demonstrate it includes right to work as well as entry.
You can apply for an NI number even if you do not have a job lined up.
How much NI do I have to pay?
The amount of National Insurance you have to pay depends on your income, and how you earn it. It is usually paid on income earned from self-employment or regular employment. There are earnings thresholds at which you start paying NI. To make it easier to understand, we created tables showing the current National Insurance rates and thresholds. You will be eligible to make payments from the age of 16, until state pension age.
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I'm an experienced and fully AAT and ACCA qualified accountant, who is enthusiastic about helping business owners succeed. I also love cooking and needlepoint (at different times!). Learn more about Beth.