What is National Insurance (NI)
You pay NI in order to build up your credits so that you become entitled to benefits, should you require them and also a state pension once you reach the state pension age. It is similar to Income Tax in that it is deducted from your pay by your employer and paid direct to HMRC on your behalf. You will need to have a NI number when you start your employment. This is your personal number that allows HMRC to open your account and make sure all tax and NI contributions are credited to you.
How much NI do I have to pay?
There are different classes of NI contributions which individuals can make but in general if you are employed you will pay Class 1 NI contributions. You pay NI for any week in which you earn over £159. You pay 12% on all income you receive above that amount. Unlike Income Tax, NI is not aggregated across the year and you should only pay for the weeks that you earn above the threshold, this means you should not overpay NI.
I don’t have a National Insurance number
If you live in the UK you should receive your NI number automatically on your 16th birthday. If you are coming to us from outside the UK then you can apply for a NI number by telephoning Jobcentre Plus on: 0845 600 0643 to arrange to get one. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and are normally less busy before 9am. They may require you to attend an 'Evidence of identity' interview. You must have the right to work in the UK in order to be given a NI card and number. If you are unsure if you have the right to work in the UK we recommend seeking advice from the Welfare Centre.