How many years NI do I need for a full pension?

Asked by: Jacinto King  |  Last update: August 28, 2023
Score: 4.8/5 (39 votes)

Qualifying years
You need 30 years of National Insurance Contributions or credits to be eligible for the full basic State Pension. This means you were either: working and paying National Insurance. getting National Insurance Credits, for example for unemployment, sickness or as a parent or carer.

Do I need more than 35 years National Insurance?

You'll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension. You'll need 35 qualifying years to get the full new State Pension. You'll get a proportion of the new State Pension if you have between 10 and 35 qualifying years.

What happens when you have paid 35 years of National Insurance?

You might not get a full State Pension if you contracted out

Normally, you need to have paid 35 years of National Insurance contributions to qualify for the full new State Pension. However. Back in the day many workplaces offered pension schemes that allowed you to 'contract out' of the State Pension.

Can I get a State Pension if I have never worked?

Many people may have never worked before they reach State Pension age. Those who have a reason for never having worked such as being disabled or suffering a condition which means you cannot work are still eligible for State Pension. Those who do not have such a reason may be ineligible for State Pension.

Can I retire at 60 and claim State Pension?

Although you can retire at any age, you can only claim your State Pension when you reach State Pension age. For workplace or personal pensions, you need to check with each scheme provider the earliest age you can claim pension benefits.

35 Qualifying Years To Get The Full State Pension

20 related questions found

What's the minimum State Pension UK?

You usually need a total of 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits to get the full basic State Pension. If you have fewer than 30 qualifying years, your basic State Pension will be less than £141.85 per week.

Is it worth paying National Insurance gaps?

Check your national insurance record

That'll show you any national insurance years since 2006 that are 'incomplete'. If you have gaps that you're unlikely to fill by any other means, it could be worth paying to plug these to get a higher state pension.

Can I take my pension at 55 and still work?

The short answer is, yes you can. There are lots of reasons you might want to access your pension savings before you stop working and you can do this with most personal pensions from age 55 (rising to 57 in 2028).

What if I have gaps in my National Insurance?

Gaps can mean you will not have enough years of National Insurance contributions to either: get the full State Pension (sometimes called 'qualifying years') qualify for some benefits.

Do you still pay National Insurance when you reach 60?

You do not pay National Insurance after you reach State Pension age - unless you're self-employed and pay Class 4 contributions.

What is the max UK State Pension?

You may be able to get a basic State Pension or increase your basic State Pension using your spouse or civil partner's national insurance contributions. This could be up to a maximum of £85.00 a week. The maximum additional pension (own and inherited) is £185.90 a week in the tax year 2022/23.

Will I get a pension if I don't earn enough to pay National Insurance?

To get Basic State Pension, you need to have paid enough national insurance contributions or received enough national insurance credits. If you haven't paid enough national insurance contributions yourself, you may still have some entitlement.

How do I check my NIS contributions?

Request for Contribution Statements

You can request a contribution statement by clicking on the link below and completing a fillable PDF with your personal data and work history. Your statement will be dispatched to you within eight (8) working days via post or email at your request.

How do I check my PRSI contributions?

The quickest and easiest way to request a statement is through This online service allows you to: request a statement of Social Welfare payments received, such as benefits, allowances and pensions. request a statement of your history and record of contributions paid.

Is it better to take a lump sum or monthly pension?

In most cases, the lump-sum option is clearly the way to go. The main difference between a lump-sum and a monthly payment is that with a lump-sum option, you get to have control over how your money is invested and what happens to it once you're gone. If that's the case, then the lump-sum option is your best bet.

Do I need to inform HMRC if I retire early?

Your employer and any pension provider will normally tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) when you retire. To prevent a delay that might result in an overpayment or underpayment of tax, you should also tell them. If you're self-employed and about to retire, you must always contact HMRC.

Should I start a pension at 60?

Start a pension now

There is no minimum amount of time you need to have paid into a defined contribution pension before you can start drawing an income from it – provided you are over 55 when you access it – so it really is never too late to start a pension.

What counts as a qualifying year for State Pension?

A 'qualifying year' is a tax year (April to April) during which you have paid, have been treated as having paid or have been credited with enough National Insurance Contributions (NICs) to make that year qualify towards a Basic State Pension.

What's the difference between Class 2 and Class 3 National Insurance contributions?

Class 2 contributions are fixed weekly amounts paid by self-employed people. Class 3 contributions are voluntary NICs paid by people wanting to fill gaps in their contributions record.

How much savings can a pensioner have in the bank UK?

There isn't a savings limit for Pension Credit. However, if you have over £10,000 in savings, this will affect how much you receive.

Does everyone get the same State Pension?

The State Pension is a regular payment from the government most people can claim when they reach State Pension age. Not everyone gets the same amount.

What is the female State Pension age?

Women's State Pension age

It changed to 65 for women between 2010 and 2018. It is now increasing in stages, alongside men, until it has reached 68. It's important to check when you are due to reach your State Pension age as this might change in the future.

Can I pay my own National Insurance contributions?

Yes you can. If however there is an increase in contribution rates, then the employer will have to remit the shortfall. I am the sole proprietor of a business, can I pay for myself? If you were previously an insured person you can pay voluntary contributions.

What happens if I don't pay National Insurance contributions?

Thus, if you're not paying your National Insurance contributions you'll end up with gaps in your NI record, and won't be able to qualify for some benefits. On top of that, you'll be penalised by the HMRC for missing your National Insurance payments.