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State Pension Stamps (National Insurance)

National Insurance (NI) is in the news as the government reduces workers' taxation. NI credits provide the contributions to the State Pension. To gain the full State Pension, people need 35 qualifying years of NI credits, either from being in work or from state benefits when unable to work. Do you know how many State Pension qualifying years you have?

State Pension

NI is simple 

After gaining 35 qualifying NI years, the maximum State Pension (currently £185.15 a week) is paid. The amount paid depends on how many qualifying NI years. People can buy the missing years until 5 April 2023 to fill qualifying NI gaps going back to 2006. After 2023, the number of extra years that can be purchased drops down to the last 6 tax years. It’s worth checking your records.

Next steps

  • Before you pay for any extra voluntary NI credits, request a personal State Pension forecast.
  • After your forecast, you need to find out if voluntary NI contributions will increase your State Pension. Full information on how to manually apply for any NI credits can be found via Government's national insurance credits website.
  • There are two types of voluntary contribution, Class 2 voluntary contributions and Class 3 voluntary contributions. As a rough guide, a missing NI year costs about £800 and will add up to £275 each year to your State Pension.
  • You can keep working and be paid, while claiming your State Pension.

Most adults will be on track with their qualifying NI years. Those at or near State Pension age will find it easy to see if topping up missing years will help them. The younger you are, the more time is available to collect the qualifying years through work or government benefits. That's why experts feel that those under 50 have 17 years left until state pension age, so it’s expensiece to buy extra NI credits unless they are sure they won’t make the 35 qualifying years.

ChildMax continues to ensure your salary and pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave, caring for a sick child. It starts from £49.50 or for easy budgeting an initial payment of £8.25 followed by 11 monthly payments of £3.75.

Visit at or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.

Important: As NI decisions are complicated, please seek external help via the government backed Money Helper website. The information is impartial and it’s free to use, whether online or by telephone.


Date: 31 October 2022 by Max Robinson