Check your NI record
The amount of state pension you receive on retirement depends on how many full years for which you have paid National Insurance Contributions (NIC). You can check your NI record at www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record, or request a print by phone or by email.
Self-employed individuals have to pay a flat rate of class 2 NIC and a separate class 4 NIC, which is based on the taxpayer’s annual profits. For many years, class 2 NIC was paid weekly to the Department of Social Security or at the Post Office. Since 1996 it has been collected by the Inland Revenue, now HMRC.
If you didn’t pay class 2 NIC, you may have a significant gap in your NI record. Although class 4 NIC is generally a larger annual payment, it provides the payer with no entitlement to state benefits or pension.
You can fill gaps in your NI record for the last six tax years, and you may be eligible to claim NI credits for other years.