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The government made an announcement this month granting taxpayers an extension until 5 April 2025 to address any gaps in their National Insurance record from April 2006. This extension, amounting to nearly two years, allows individuals more time to carefully consider whether making voluntary contributions is advantageous for them. It ensures that nobody should miss out on the opportunity to enhance their State Pension entitlement.

Earlier this year, the original deadline was extended to 31 July 2023, resulting in tens of thousands of people taking advantage of the opportunity to make voluntary contributions. With the revised deadline, it is expected that tens of thousands more individuals will be able to follow suit.

Victoria Atkins, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, emphasised that individuals who have diligently worked throughout their lives deserve to receive their rightful State Pension entitlement. Filling gaps in their National Insurance records can make a tangible difference. The extended deadline alleviates the immediate pressure to complete these gaps and allows individuals more time to manage the associated costs.

Laura Trott, the Minister for Pensions at the Department for Work and Pensions, expressed satisfaction at the significant number of people taking steps to review their State Pension. This prompted the extension of the deadline, giving customers more time to add extra years to their National Insurance record. As a result, thousands more people will have the opportunity to assess their entitlement and potentially increase their retirement benefits.

The extension provides taxpayers with a longer duration to ensure they can afford to address any gaps, should they choose to do so. All relevant voluntary National Insurance contributions payments will be accepted at the rates applicable between 2022 and 2023 until 5 April 2025.

The extended deadline benefits individuals planning for their retirement, especially those with gaps in their National Insurance record. It also applies to individuals who were employed but had low earnings, those who were unemployed without claiming benefits, self-employed individuals with minimal profits, and individuals living or working outside the UK.

It’s important to note that paying voluntary contributions does not always result in an increase in the State Pension. Therefore, eligible individuals with gaps in their National Insurance record from April 2006 onwards should first verify whether filling those gaps would be beneficial for them. They can check their National Insurance record, obtain a State Pension forecast, assess the worthiness of making voluntary National Insurance contributions for their pension, and make payments by clicking on the links below.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of National Insurance contributions further, please contact a member of the team.