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Class 3 National Insurance

Class 3 National Insurance is a voluntary payment that you can make if you have gaps in your National Insurance (NI) record and you want to qualify for the state pension.

But not everyone is eligible to pay it. Take a look at the table below to see what you’d be eligible to pay based on your employment status. 

Employment status What do I pay?
Employed and earning <£120 – but not eligible for National Insurance credits Class 3
Self-employed with profits <£6,515 Class 2 or Class 3 (depending on the benefits you want to be eligible for)
You’re employed and have a side-hustle but with low earnings and small profits Contact HMRC on 0300-200-3519
You’re a self-employed examiner, religious minister or have an investment, land or property business Class 2 or Class 3 (depending on the benefits you want to be eligible for)
You live and work abroad Class 3 – if you’ve lived in the UK for 3 consecutive years/paid 3 years of contributions
Unemployed but not claiming benefits Class 3
A married woman or widow no longer paying reduced rates Class 3
Living (but not working) abroad Class 3 – if you’ve lived in the UK for 3 consecutive years/paid 3 years of contributions

How much is Class 3 National Insurance?

In the 2021/22 tax year, Class 3 NI is £15.40 per week, and you can pay it through HMRC’s website.

Be aware that you can only make voluntary contributions for the past six years. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re eligible, you can contact the Future Pension Centre

They’ll tell you if you qualify.

How can I pay?

There is a selection of options to pay your Class 3 NI:

  • By monthly Direct Debit
  • In a single lump sum
  • Quarterly bills

HMRC will give you a deadline to pay, to which you’ll have to make sure that you adhere.

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