What is a National Insurance Number?

  • Your National Insurance number is your own personal account number. 
  • The number makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded on your account.
  • It also acts as a reference number for the whole social security system.

How do I apply for a National Insurance Number?

Who pays National Insurance?

  • You pay National Insurance contributions if you're an employee or self-employed and you're aged 16 and over, as long as your earnings are more than a certain level.
  • If you're employed you stop paying National Insurance contributions as soon as you reach State Pension age.
  • If you are self-employed, you stop paying Class 2 contributions as soon as you reach State Pension age and Class 4 contributions from the start of the tax year after the one in which you reach State Pension age.
  • State Pension Ages:
    • State Pension age is 65 for men born before 6 December 1953 and 60 for women born before 6 April 1950.
    • State Pension age for women born on or after 6 April 1950 is gradually increasing and will reach 65 in November 2018. From December 2018.
    • State Pension age for women and men will gradually increase from 65 and reach 66 by October 2020.
  • Some people also pay voluntary National Insurance contributions.
  • For example, you might choose to pay them if you:
    • aren't working and are not claiming state benefits
    • haven't paid enough National Insurance contributions in a year to count for the State Pension or other long term state benefits
    • live abroad and want to maintain your state benefits entitlement

Do students have to pay National Insurance?

  • As of April 2013 HMRC withdrew PAYE and NI concessions for students.
  • Students are treated in the same way as all other employees for PAYE tax and National Insurance contributions purposes.