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Posted Thu, 11 Aug 2022 08:58:14 GMT by STUART PARK
When my wife goes to view her pension record online it states that she has 28 full years of NI contributions yet in the list of years presented below this text, it lists only 25 years marked as full. Can anyone explain this to me please? She needs to make voluntary contributions to reach full pension and, because of this apparent contradiction, I can't be sure how many years she has to make up. If you pay "extra" NI in full years is any of this accumulated to offset against inactive years to turn them into full years or are partial years combined in any way to create full years? Also is there any way on the forecast to get it to show what she would get if she intends to work no further? The assumption appears to be that she will be working until she reaches pension age which is not particularly helpful. Many thanks.
Posted Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:48:45 GMT by HMRC Admin 10
Without looking at the record in question we wouldn’t be able to check why some years are not shown as full.
In order to find out how many years your wife would need to pay you can get a state pension statement by phoning the Future Pension Centre helpline 0800 731 0175 or going to Check your State Pension forecast.
There is a maximum amount of NIC that can be paid each year either through Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance Contributions however any overpayments of NIC would be refunded (either through PAYE and the employer or through the Self-Assessment system if the overpayment is regarding Class 2 National Insurance Contributions paid by those who are self-employed)
These would not be set against any deficient  tax years and partial years cannot be combines into a full year as the National Insurance paid can only be recorded for the tax year it is paid for. 

Posted Sat, 20 Aug 2022 10:46:24 GMT by STUART PARK
Thank you for the reply. We have already visited the 'Check your State Pension forecast' page. It is that page that is presenting the problem and I am sorry but I don't think my primary question has been answered. Why is it that, in the National Insurance Record page it states (at the top) : "You have: 28 years of full contributions 8 years to contribute before 5 April 2029 10 years when you did not contribute enough" then, in the list of years that follows there are 35 entries of which 25 are shown as "full year" (not 28 as suggested in the header), 10 are listed as "Year is not full" and one is listed as "Your record for this year is not available yet" (and each of those states in the detail "You did not make any contributions this year"). What circumstances might give rise to the secanrio that the full years in the header apparently conflict with those listed below please? It certainly makes no immediate sense whatsoever. It just seems contradictory. Thank you.
Posted Mon, 22 Aug 2022 19:03:48 GMT by sportyfae
Are the 3 years creating the discrepancy starting credits? From NIM41210 - Credits: post 1975 credits: Class 3 starting credits These starting credits could be awarded for the full three tax years containing their 16th, 17th and 18th birthdays, whether or not the young person was in full time education,
Posted Mon, 22 Aug 2022 20:20:53 GMT by Gary Coombs
I see something similar on my record and it relates to the earliest year not showing in the details. I was told this relates to how old paper records were digitised (or not). But that said, the NI record is of limited use for deciding whether it would be beneficial to pay voluntary NIC. The better place to look is the Pension Forecast as that will show how many years you need to pay to receive the max possible pension. This is because, on 6 April 2016 people who had an NI record at that date were transferred to the new state pension by calculating how much they would have received under the old rules at that date (basic pension plus any additional pension (SERPS/S2P)) and how much they would receive had the new rules always applied. The higher of these two calculations is their "starting amount" for the new state pension. For 2016/17 to state pension age they can then add 1/35 x new state pension max for each full NI year, whether paid mandatorily or voluntarily. It is therefore essentially irrelevant how many years such people have on their NI record. For instance, a person with 30 or more years at 5 April 2016 and therefore entitled to the full basic pension under the old rules (it was based on a max of 30 years), and a significant amount of additional pension as they were not contracted out of the SERPS and/or S2P could have a starting amount in excess of the new max. They require no further NI years to obtain the max new state pension and the excess is called a protected payment and paid in addition to the new state pension. On the other hand, a person with 35+ years under the old rules who was contracted out of SERPS/S2P (say a civil servant) may have a starting amount equal to the old basic state pension but then not have enough years left before reaching state pension age to reach the new max. So, one person may need only 30 years to obtain the max under the new rules, while another person with 40 years on their record may receive less than the max - it is, what it is. In my opinion looking at your pension forecast and discussing things with the Future Pensions team in DWP should provide the clarity you are seeking. Hope this helps
Posted Thu, 08 Sep 2022 08:35:35 GMT by STUART PARK
Thank you for the replies SportFae, Gary and apologies for the delay - I have been on holiday. Sportfae: My wife is Australian and did a few years work here in her 20s when she was in the UK temporarily t(around 1986/87/88 ) then was in work here again after we got married in 1998, when she moved here permanently. SHe then worked fairly solidly until covid struck in 2020. I therefoe doubt that any starting credits come into the picture. Gary: The bulk of my wife's credit would have been earned in the period 1998 to 2016. I think she would have been contracted out of SERPS during that period. My biggest concern here really is that there may have been some sort of error that may or may not be working (deceptively) in my wife's favour. If I can RELY on the value shown in the pension forecast then I think I knoiw where I stand regarding whether to top up and by how much but, if that figure is based on an incorrect number of years and the figure is ultimately adjusted to compensate for that error, then that would clearly affect our top-up strategy. Thanks again.
Posted Thu, 08 Sep 2022 19:58:46 GMT by Gary Coombs
Hi Stuart, I would have that conversation with DWP Future Pensions. They can tell you, well, your wife (or you if she gives permission to talk with you), the "starting amount" for the new state pension and whether it includes any amount of "additional pension". When I asked in relation to my wife's pension, they were most accommodating. If there is any additional pension because she was not contracted out of SERPS/S2P then they can tell you the make-up of the starting amount, i.e. how much is basic pension and how much is additional pension. You can then check that the basic pension element is correct and/or challenge the number as it is simply (in 2022/23 terms the relevant number of thirtieths of £141.85. I think you will have to accept the number for additional pension as the maths is so complex that the DWP officer cannot explain it either! If she had more than 30 full years at 5 April 2016, then the basic pension element would be the max £141.85, if that makes sense, as only 30 years are counted. Hope this helps.
Posted Fri, 30 Sep 2022 10:02:54 GMT by STUART PARK
Thank you again Gary. Very helpful. I will do as you suggest. Stuart.

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