The deadline for making voluntary contributions has been extended from 5 April 2023, as previously reported, until 5 April 2025.
The deadline was first extended to 31 July 2023 and HMRC reports that tens of thousands of people have opted to make voluntary contributions since then.
You normally need 35 complete years of NIC (payments or credits) in order to receive the maximum state retirement pension and at least ten complete NIC years to receive any state retirement pension. Ordinarily, individuals can make voluntary contributions to fill in missing weeks for the previous six years but HMRC is currently accepting voluntary payments for gaps between April 2006 and April 2017.
Paying voluntary contributions will not necessarily increase your state pension, so taxpayers are encouraged to check their NIC record and state pension forecast on GOV.UK before deciding whether to fill the gaps.
You now have more time to consider whether making voluntary contributions to boost your state pension entitlement is right for you. We can help you check how much NIC you have paid.
Extending the deadline gives people more time to spread the cost of filling in the gaps, allowing many more to significantly boost the amount of state pension they are entitled to. Voluntary NIC payments will be accepted at the rates applicable in 2022-23.
Some people may also have home responsibilities protection (HRP) missing from their NIC records. If you claimed child benefit before May 2000 and did not provide your NI number on the claim, some qualifying HRP years could be missing. This again could affect your state pension. DWP and HMRC are working together to find and contact potentially affected individuals – in order of proximity to state pension age – and correct their records.