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National Insurance (NI)

National Insurance (NI) is a contribution paid to HMRC by employees, their employers, and the self-employed. The purpose of National Insurance is to qualify people for certain provided benefits such as the State Pension.

Different taxpayers pay different kinds of National Insurance, called “classes”:

NI class Who pays How is it paid How much is it
Class 1 Employees earning more than £183 per week who are under State Pension age a year Your employer deducts it through PAYE 12% (or 2% if you earn over £262 a week)
Class 1A or 1B Employers for employees earning over £183 per week Your employer pays it on top of your Class 1 13.8%
Class 2 Self-employed people earning over £6,475 a year Through a Self Assessment tax return Flat £159 per year
Class 3 Voluntary contributions – you can pay them to fill gaps in your NI record Through a Direct Debit £15.30 per week
Class 4 Self-employed people earning over £9,501 a year Through a Self Assessment tax return 9% (or 2% if you earn over £50,000)

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