To receive a full State Pension when you retire, you must have paid National Insurance for a minimum number of years.
You might be able to get National Insurance credits if you’re not working, and you usually you need to be claiming certain State benefits.
These credits can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record. This protects your entitlement to:
- the State Pension
- contributory working age benefits
- bereavement benefits for your partner.
The following people can normally claim a National Insurance credit in certain circumstances:
- parents and foster carers
- a family member who cares for a child (usually while the parent or main carer is working)
- those getting maternity, paternity or adoption pay.
If you’re not entitled to a National Insurance credit, you might be able to pay Voluntary National Insurance contributions.
It’s a good idea to check if you are entitled to NI credits These credits can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record.
You are entitled to National Insurance credits if you:
are, or have been, on maternity, paternity or adoption pay
are, or have been, looking after a child under 12 are, or have been, on an approved training course
- are married to or are a civil partner of a member of the armed forces and you went with your partner on an overseas posting
- are, or have been, on jury service have served a prison sentence for a conviction which was later quashed.
Claims for some credits can be backdated for many years, so it’s always worth checking to see if you qualify.