Government launches online NI payments tool

by | May 16, 2024 | Business Start Up

HMRC, in collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), has unveiled an innovative online tool designed to help individuals verify gaps in their National Insurance (NI) contributions from 2006. The “Check your State Pension Forecast” tool aims to assist taxpayers in determining if additional payments are necessary to secure a full state pension upon retirement.

This digital service provides a convenient platform for users to calculate potential increases to their state pension through voluntary NI contributions. It specifies which years are eligible for back payments and offers a secure payment method to cover gaps, with instant confirmation of updated NI records.


State pension age to rise

The introduction of this tool is timely, as the state pension age is slated to rise. For individuals born from 1 April 1960 onwards, the pension age will increase to 67 between 2026-2028 and 68 between 2044-2046. In response to these changes and new state pension transitional arrangements, the Government has extended the deadline for making voluntary NI contributions until 5 April 2025, covering eligible tax years from 6 April 2006 to 5 April 2018. After this date, voluntary contributions will be restricted to the previous six tax years, aligning with the standard time limits.

Accessing the service requires taxpayers to log in using their Personal Tax Account details or the HMRC app, with the option to register for an online account on This tool is particularly beneficial for those with gaps in their NI payments and who need to assess whether additional contributions could enhance their pension outcomes. The tool, however, is currently unavailable to those already receiving their state pension, the self-employed, or taxpayers currently living outside the UK with gaps incurred while working abroad. They will continue to manage their NICs as before.

The tool not only provides insights into how much one’s state pension could increase by making these contributions but also allows users to select specific years for which they wish to make payments. Once a payment is made, the service confirms that the transaction has been processed and the NI record updated accordingly.

As HMRC points out, it’s important to note that paying voluntary contributions does not always guarantee an increase in state pension. Therefore, the tool also informs users about whether making such payments would be financially beneficial in the long term.


Improving digital access

This development is part of a broader effort by HMRC and DWP to enhance digital services, making financial planning more accessible and straightforward for the public. By providing tools that help manage and plan for retirement, the Government aims to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their financial futures, ensuring they can achieve a secure and comfortable retirement.

Nigel Huddleston, financial secretary to the Treasury, said:

“Having peace of mind when planning for retirement is crucial to ensure people can enjoy later life. That’s why HMRC has launched this new online service, making a real difference for thousands of pensioners in their retirement while providing certainty to those in their middle years and those still planning ahead.”

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