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Posted Thu, 16 Mar 2023 16:40:30 GMT by HMRC Admin 2
Hi Bruno,

HMRC will honour the date we received your CF83 application and if it is accepted, at the rate or rates you have applied for, even if we process your application after the 31 July 2023 deadline.

You will not be penalised for the delays in issuing a response to you.

For making a payment from abroad or for a period you were abroad, you do not need a 18 digit reference. This is because you cannot pay for abroad voluntary NICs online via the HMRC website.  The response will provide you with the way you can make you payments for any gaps.  

You must also check with the Future Pension Centre, part of the DWP, that making a payment will increase your State Pension entitlement prior to sending any funds to HMRC.

Thank you.
Posted Thu, 16 Mar 2023 16:55:35 GMT by HMRC Admin 2
Hi evictor12,

Please allow 8 weeks for your National Insurance record to be updated.  

If 8 weeks has passed and not all of the National Insurance is showing, please contact our National Insurance team for advice.

National Insurance: general enquiries

Thank you.
Posted Fri, 17 Mar 2023 14:25:43 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Hi richakn knight,

Yes your parents can send a cheque on your behalf they must write your National Insurance (NI) Number on the front of the cheque so that our banking teams can process it to your NI record.
If you have applied (via CF83) from abroad to pay voluntary National Insurance Contributions (NICs) your reply of acceptance should have provided you with ways to pay.  
If you have not applied to pay voluntary NICs please read the NI38 leaflet see:  Social Security abroad: NI38  and complete a CF83.  
Paying Voluntary NICs from abroad you don’t need a 18 digit reference.  This is only for UK Class 3 payments of Voluntary NICs.
Please note the Personal Tax Account automatically defaults to UK class 3 and doesn’t show a different rate for those customers abroad.
You must have had confirmation that paying voluntary NICs will increase your state pension entitlement.  
The current deadline of the 5 April 2023 has been extended to 31 July 2023.

Thank You.
Posted Wed, 22 Mar 2023 11:40:31 GMT by
So to make voluntary class 3 contributions, you have to phone the future pensions service to get a specific, one-time 18 digit code. But when you call the Future Pensions Service you cannot get through to a person to give you the code. You just get cut off. Evidently this is a common experience. Time to write to MPs. This is a service in failure.
Posted Wed, 22 Mar 2023 12:44:02 GMT by Bertlloyd James
@Frusteduser uk You have to contact the Future Pension Service to determine whether making any voluntary contributions will add to your state pension figure. Not all years do so why you need to speak to them. Assuming you do get through and determine that making a voluntary contribution does add to your pension, you then have to call HMRC, (another department and another long wait on the line), to obtain the 18 digit code. Armed with the code you can then make an online payment. Alternatively you could use the arcane method of sending a cheque and covering letter, no doubt the letter would need to be written with a quill pen!! Clearly the system has been designed to frustrate and challenge everyone, and you wonder whether is done on purpose. Although you would have thought that HMRC/Government would be making it as easy as possible for people to make voluntary contributions as it means more money in their coffers. Good luck, you do have until the end of July to get through.
Posted Wed, 22 Mar 2023 12:56:16 GMT by
So I have managed to get my 18 digit reference number. I went on to my online banking and they have rejected the reference number stating it must begin with 60. This is for class 2 voluntary contributions for myself living over seas. So how do I pay ? I no know there is no panic and I have until the end of July 2023 to pay. This seems ridiculous as now can’t get hold of anybody to confirm what to do, just get cut off ! Any help greatfully received.
Posted Wed, 22 Mar 2023 16:15:52 GMT by
Instead of ringing a telephone number to speak to an adviser, if we know the National Insurance number, the year, the amount to be paid, can you tell us how to generate the 18 digit number so we can make bank transfer payments, even if it is a separate payment for each year to be credited.
Posted Thu, 23 Mar 2023 18:25:43 GMT by
I am also having problems paying 5 of the 7 years missing from my NI pension I have spent hours ringing the overseas 0800 number and in the end called the uk number I managed to get through and they transferred me to overseas customer service I spoke to a young girl who said i didnt need the 18 digit number to pay the £4,000 for 5 years , just to pay it using my ni number, my surname and CI at the end Not thinking i thanked her and went to my uk bank online , halifax , to pay , and then realised how was i supposed to let HMRC know which years i was paying?? The only way is to pay using the 18 digit code on their page , so now i need to call again and waste more hours to try to get the code. This is a nighmare !!!
Posted Sat, 25 Mar 2023 15:49:42 GMT by Midnight-Blue Abbott
Now I'm confused, in this thread HMRC Admin don't advise re-using the same 18 digit reference number!? Whereas on another thread the HMRC Admin says you can use it again as it's unique to you! I understand after the 60 the next 5 digits are the amount you're paying followed by your NI number 6 digits rearranged, then another 5 digits which represent I know not what? So can I make another payment or not substituting the 5 digits after 60 with a different amount to pay another voluntary contribution for another year? My first was for 2016/17 the next would be for 2020/21. If only this sort of information was available online, it would help alleviate the amount of phone calls I'm sure! Here's hoping for a quick reply from HMRC Admin 🤔
Posted Sun, 26 Mar 2023 15:15:42 GMT by Sonnacha
I also live overseas,unable to get through on the phone but viewed gaps in my record online,selected years 2006 to 2017 filled in form CF83 and sent hmrc a sterling cheque for class 2 voluntary contributions with a covering letter in January.No 18 digit reference number required.hmrc confirmed receipt of cheque andmy account now shows in progress!
Posted Tue, 28 Mar 2023 10:39:40 GMT by
I sent a cheque over two weeks ago as per the instructions given in this forum. I have yet to receive the requested confirmation of receipt and am unable, despite many calls, to speak to any one at HMRC. Please can you tell me how long it will be before I receive confirmation of receipt and also confirm that the date of the cheque (13th March, 2023) will be honoured? Thank you.
Posted Tue, 28 Mar 2023 15:38:58 GMT by
To HMRC a simple question which I hope you will kind enough to answer. I have now tried a number of times to ring 0300 200 3500 to get my 18 digit number and each time I have been told I would have to wait 60 minutes which I have done but no one answered within that time period so I gave up. So given that I cannot get the reference number by phone and also that I do not have a cheque book, can you tell me what details I need to supply to you to pay any missing years electronically. You have to bear in mind I only have 18 characters in the bank reference box to play with. I presume my NI number will take up 8 digits which leaves 10 presumably for the missing year. So can you give me details specifying in detail the format for each of the 18 characters so that you can correctly allocate my payment to the missing year. Thanks.
Posted Wed, 29 Mar 2023 11:07:36 GMT by
Please advise on my situation. I live abroad and want to make voluntary NI payments for two specific years. I do not want to pay for the other missing years. I cannot pay online due to not knowing the 18 digit number. I also don't believe the CF83 form gives me the option of paying for specific years. Please could an agent clearly explain the process for me to make the payments for the two specific years only. Thanks
Posted Wed, 29 Mar 2023 12:18:23 GMT by HMRC Admin 25
Hi Yaris22,

I am sorry that you have been unable to speak to an advisor on our helpline, our lines are extremely busy at present.

If you are trying to pay via your online banking with your bank, they should accept the reference number, which is your National Insurance number followed by IC, and the first 7 characters of your surname and initial, for an overseas payer.

You will need to contact your bank if they won’t accept it.

If you are trying to pay via the GOV.UK website using the option ‘Approve a payment through your online bank account’ you will not be able to make your payment this way, as HMRC cannot accept payments in this way from overseas payers.

Thank you. 

Posted Wed, 29 Mar 2023 12:39:10 GMT by HMRC Admin 25
Hi HeySquirrel,

Unfortunately we cannot provide this information you have requested due to data security.

If you do not wish to make a payment online you can also make a payment by cheque with your NI Number written on the front of the cheque.

Posted Thu, 30 Mar 2023 05:21:50 GMT by
Hello, I see older posts than mine have received replies. Therefore I will post the same question again, Please advise on my situation. I live abroad and want to make voluntary NI payments for two specific years. I do not want to pay for the other missing years. I cannot pay online due to not knowing the 18 digit number. I also don't believe the CF83 form gives me the option of paying for specific years. Please could an agent clearly explain the process for me to make the payments for the two specific years only. Thanks
Posted Thu, 30 Mar 2023 10:12:41 GMT by
The whole process is awful and some things can be fixed, so any HMRC people please feed back. - I checked my contributions online and found gaps in the last 6 years - I got a forecast, and found out how much to pay and how much I'd get for it - I followed links online to pay - Was asked for the 18 digit number ***At no point in this process was there information about how to get an 18 digit number, or even that one was needed (until I got to the login page). The login page just says I can find the number on my bill. What bill? Provision of this information would have saved much time*** Why can't this be auto-generated online from the information that's there? It took quite a bit of searching to find out what I was supposed to do, and this forum is useful. I tried calling. I had to call twice just to understand the options in the system. Eventually I figured that 'If you have viewed your forecast and have a query' was what I needed. It's not obvious. After laboriously going through the options, I was immediately cut off twice. The registration process for this forum is rather obscure with the email confirmation process. The email I received has a broken image. The profile has 'request agent forums access' as a tick box. What on earth is that? If it applied to you presumably you know - but how do I know if it applies to me? There's no explanation. It's basic stuff.
Posted Thu, 30 Mar 2023 15:08:29 GMT by
Hi, After unsuccessfully trying several times over the phone to get the 18 digit code we sent a letter to PT Operations North East England, HMRC, BX9 1AN, giving details of years of gap and amount and asking for the code. No reply received so far (letter was mailed on 3rd March). Is there any other way to get the code - should we send another letter to perhaps a different address? Whilst the date for contribution from 2006 to 2016 has been extended- the same is not true for 2017 till 2022 (which will go up after 27 April). Please let us know the best way to get the code. We prefer not to send the cheque if possible. Thanks
Posted Thu, 30 Mar 2023 17:21:39 GMT by
So, everybody has the same standard questions, don’t they? 1. What effect will paying for which missing years have on the State Pension I receive? 2. How do I get the 18 digit reference number that nobody has? Come on HMRC/DWP, in these days of digital everything, why aren’t the answers to these standard questions available ONLINE? Expecting people to phone an unreachably busy number with no queueing system to answer the first question, then expecting them to phone another equally unreachable number for the second is simply prehistoric! It’s deeply frustrating for all of us, and also a very inefficient use of your advisors’ time, which would be much better spent on questions that are NOT standard. Here are my suggestions: 1. In the National Insurance record, add a line after the ‘You can make up the shortfall’ section: “Paying this amount would increase your State Pension by £n a week (at current rates – up to an absolute maximum from all contributions of £185.15 a week)” – or “Paying this amount would not increase your State Pension.” 2. On the online payment page, allow us to select the years we want to pay, and pre-populate this with the amounts payable, with the total added up. Include a ‘Simulate’ button, to provide confirmation that the correct years and amounts to pay have been chosen – with the result given: “If you proceed to pay this, your State Pension (at current rates) will be £x a week.” 3. If you do 2. above, you know our identity (and NI number), which years we want to pay for and how much we are paying, so the 18 digit number is superfluous and could be deleted (or at least, could be displayed at this point). 4. For the NON-standard questions, any phone no. should have a queueing system, telling callers at least, “You are nth in the queue,” preferably adding, “... and the expected wait is y minutes.” And you should staff it so that y doesn’t exceed 10 at most! (That shouldn’t be hard, if all the routine stuff of 1-3 is covered online.) 5. There should also be a way to submit non-standard questions online. There you go; these REALLY SIMPLE changes would make the system SO much more usable. Why not do it tomorrow?
Posted Fri, 31 Mar 2023 10:33:12 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Hi Midnight-Blue Abbott,

We ask that you call and ask for a new 18 digit reference number for every payment you wish to make.
This is not only to ensure that the payment is for the correct amount, and is to be paid towards the correct year,
but also that the payment is allocated to your account without delay.

Thank you.

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