State pension UK: Qualifying NI years explained – how much will each year add to payments?


Those who are not working may also be able to build their NI record.

NI credits may be awarded to those who cannot work, which can include those who are not working due to illness, disability or being unemployed.

These credits can be awarded to those who, for example:

  • Claim child benefit for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010)
  • Get Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • Get Carer’s Allowance

For those who have gaps in a NI record, it may be possible to make voluntary contributions which could increase payouts.

It should be noted that voluntary NI contributions do not always increase state pension payments and to find out if they will, people will need to contact the future pension centre.

Voluntary contributions can usually only pay for gaps in a NI record over the previous six years.


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