National Insurance – voluntary contributions
Additional national insurance contributions (Class 3) can be made by individuals including those who are not currently working, not liable to other classes of national insurance or living abroad.
The payment of Class 3 contributions counts towards an individual’s entitlement to the basic state pension and certain bereavement benefits. Payments are usually due 42 days following the end of each tax year.
However special terms are in place for the tax years 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01 and 2001-02 provided payment is made by5 April 2010. These special terms apply only to individuals who reached the state pension age before 24 October 2004. Any payments received after the 5 April 2010 will not be accepted by HMRC.
Payment can be made directly to HMRC by cheque or direct debit. Note that if you pay and subsequently change your mind there is no automatic entitlement to a refund. It is worth taking advice before making such payments in case the impact they will have is disproportionately low.