National Insurance Contributions as a Student

Posted 19th Nov 2009
Hi, I'm trying to find info on paying National Insurance contributions as a student.

I was a full time Uni student for 3 years from 2005-2008 and have been asked to pay NIC by HRM&C during my time studying. I didn't realize I needed to pay NIC during this time to count towards my basic state pension.

I'm confused. Was I supposed to use my Student Loan payments to pay NIC?
I'm aware benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance and Income support can award National Insurance credits and would have thought being a student would award similar assistance?

Is there any help students can get for paying their NIC?
Community Updates


The way I understand it is that if you are working you pay NI, it doesn't matter if you are a student.

However if you don't work for a period of time then effectively your "contributions" to the pot will be lower than that of others, this will have no real impact apart from when you reach retirement age as your state pension is likely to be lower as a direct result.

What they are offering you is the option to "top-up" your contributions to bring them back to full level, however you need to ask yourself if this is really woth doing? It is unlikely that state pensions will be worth anything in years to come, therefore would you be better making up this difference with extra contributions to a private pension?
it just means you will need to pay NI for an extra 3 years to qualify for your full pension i think.
which i think is a minimum of 30 years? so i wouldnt worry about it.
You only pay NI if you breach the lower earnings limit (around £5,700). If you didnt earn more this each tax year whilst u were at uni then payment of NI is voluntary. I would ignore it unless u plan on relying on the state pension once u retire
dont worry about it and dont pay.

you only need 30 years of contributions to get the full state pension.

As I'm guessing you are around 23 and your retirement age will be 67 (or higher by then), you'll easily pay 30 years of NIC.
Thanks for the response. Sounds like the answer is, yes I have the option of paying the extra and at a lower rate as my earnings for the student years were low, which sounds worth doing. And no, there isn't a way to get credits paid on my behalf in the same way income benfits work.

On the other hand, I look at it like this: I technically have 20 years (after the age of 16) of not having the pay National insurance before it became an issue (providing I was then working and paying from age 36 onwards), so 3 years out of that 20 makes little difference, and not worth paying.

I think I'll leave it then
Post a comment


    Top Merchants