Recently released data has highlighted a steep increase in voluntary National Insurance Contributions (NICs) over the last few years, as people focus on topping up their State Pension record.
The value of voluntary ‘Class 3′ NICs in 2018-19 totalled £119.3m; in comparison, in 2016-17 the figure was £12.8m. This represents a nine-fold increase in just two years, largely driven by the introduction of new State Pension rules in 2016, particularly the increase from 30 to 35 in the number of years’ contributions required to qualify for a full pension. To have enough qualifying years for a full State Pension, some people therefore choose to pay voluntary contributions.
STAY ON TRACK
To help you keep on track, regularly reviewing your pension provision, both private and state, is a good discipline. In addition to requesting a State Pension forecast from www.gov.uk/check-state pension, pension providers will send out annual benefit statements detailing entitlements.
Don’t fall into the trap of only reviewing your pension when you are about to retire, as it’s too late at that stage; prioritise your pension in 2020.