A person can typically fill gaps in their national insurance (NI) record within a six-year time limit. Transitional arrangements enable them to fill gaps dating back to 2006/07, and they can also make additional contributions if needed.
The deadline for making such contributions has been extended to 5 April 2025.
People had difficulty reaching pension helplines once the July deadline received a publicity boost, causing the delay in the deadline. The transitional arrangement will now apply for the years 2006/07 to 2017/18.
Making voluntary NI contributions for the years 2006/07 to 2017/18 before 5 April 2025 allows individuals to secure the 2022/23 rate of £15.85 per week. The current rate is £17.45.
The first step is for a person to check their state pension forecast and NI record. This can easily be done online.
- Voluntary contributions will not always increase the amount of state pension. The decision can be especially complex if contracted out of the state pension prior to 2016.
- A person in very poor health or with a short life expectancy will probably not benefit from voluntary contributions.
A person needs 35 qualifying years on their NI record to qualify for the full state pension, which is currently £10,600 a year. Paying £824 for a full year boosts annual pension by £303—a rewarding investment for those with at least five years of retirement ahead.
Filling incomplete years can enhance the return by covering just a few missing weeks at £15.85 each.
A state pension forecast can be obtained here.