In general, to qualify for the maximum ‘new state pension’ a person must have 35 qualifying years of NI contributions. For part payment of the ‘new state pension’ a person must have contributed for at least 10 years.
If individuals have not contributed enough prior to reaching state pension age, they may not be able to claim state pension, or may only receive a proportion.
To protect state pension and other benefits it may be beneficial for people to make voluntary NI contributions to top up their contribution history, potentially increasing the amount of state pension they will receive.
Normally, it is only possible to make voluntary contributions for the past six tax years. Currently there is an extension in place and individuals can fill gaps in their NIC history from 6 April 2006 to the present date by making voluntary contributions.
However, from 6 April 2023, the timeframe for making voluntary contributions will revert to the normal six years.