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Improved process for paying voluntary NIC for periods abroad

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 02 Apr 2024

A person living or working abroad can apply digitally to pay voluntary NIC to fill gaps in their record.

A person who has lived or worked abroad may not have enough years of national insurance contributions (NIC) to qualify for the state pension or other benefits. They can fill gaps in their record by paying voluntary class 2 or class 3 NIC where they meet the conditions to do so.  

HMRC has improved the process for applying to make voluntary contributions. Since 31 January 2024, the application can be made digitally via an interactive form. This uses intelligent questioning to gather all the information HMRC needs to process the application, and provides extra support for the applicant. HMRC’s guidance sets out the information the person will need to provide and how they may verify their identity.  

There are some circumstances in which it is not possible to make a digital application. These include where the person wants to pay by direct debit and where the person’s employer will pay on their behalf. In this case, it will be necessary to print and post the application.  

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