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Posted Tue, 28 Feb 2023 09:29:37 GMT by
I have checked my NI record and discovered I have a few gaps that I'd like to fill. In that record it is specified the amount to pay per year. I have not been abroad working or any other particular circumstances. But I can't find the process of paying these voluntary contributions. The site first points you to: but there there is not a way to pay anything. Then I found on the web, but to pay here, it is asking a "18 digit characters that begins for 60". Where can I find that code? I have been trying to call HMRC on 0300 200 3500 yesterday and today. I've been disconnected multiple times and wait for around 60 min and disconnected. Impossible to talk to anyone in HMRC. And I assume this will get worse when the end of tax year approaches. I understand that my time to fill these gaps is ending on the 5th-April-2023 but I am unable to contact anyone to proceed with that payment. Anyone can help? Where can I get that mysterious code? Can I send a check to HMRC? Is there a way to contact HMRC other than by phone? Many thanks,
Posted Wed, 01 Mar 2023 10:47:26 GMT by Caro1961 O’Brien
I’ve got exactly the same problem been trying to contact HMRC for more than a week now. Trying multiple times every day and just getting disconnected. Tried looking online and have the same issue as you with this NI Ref number. I’ve looked at all my paperwork but nothing there that fits the description. I’m all for helping myself but if they can’t put better information on their website to provide you with the tools to help yourself then it’s causes immense frustration. I did hear a message played this morning that said we can pay it after 5 April 23 if we can’t get through before. However I just want to pay what I owe to fill the gaps but it seems impossible?
Posted Tue, 07 Mar 2023 08:59:48 GMT by HMRC Admin 19
Hi Caro1961 O'Brien,

We are sorry you have been unable to speak to an advisor at HMRC. Our lines are extremely busy at this time. 

If you would like to pay voluntary contributions to increase your state pension you can find more information here:
Pay voluntary Class 3 National Insurance

For UK residents, the first thing you will need to do is to contact DWP.  The reason we require you to contact DWP is because they will be able to advise you what years it is best for you to pay, and if you will benefit from paying them.  Although these contributions are voluntary they cannot be refunded if paid incorrectly, therefore you should ensure that you will benefit from making the payment. 

If you are below pension age you should contact future pension centre on 0800 731 0175
If you are over pension age you should contact the pension service on 0800 731 7898

DWP phone lines are open between 8am and 6pm.

Once you have this information you have 2 options:
  1.  You can contact HMRC to obtain an 18 digit reference number. You can then use this number to pay online, at your bank, or via online banking. The contact number for HMRC is 0300 2003500, lines are open between 8am and 6pm.
  2. You can write to us, and include a cheque for the amount DWP have advised you can be paid. You should include your National Insurance number and the years you would like to pay on the reverse of the cheque and include a covering letter.  
The address to write to is:
HM Revenue and Customs
National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office

HMRC will accept your original date of contact, and the date the payment is received will be honoured, however it may take up to 8 weeks for your National Insurance record to be updated.

For customers who reside overseas you will need to read the booklet NI38, and complete the CF83, making sure you tick the option that you would like to know what arrears you can pay. We will accept the date your CF83 is received by HMRC as your date of contact.  For overseas customer it can take longer for your payments to show on your National Insurance account.

If you require a receipt for any payment made, you must ask for this.

Thank you.
Posted Tue, 07 Mar 2023 12:41:10 GMT by
Thank you for your answer. Dear HMRC Admin, Is DWP the same as Future Centre? If so, as stated the telephone numbers are unable to cope with the calls volumes, and it is impossible to get through. Therefore I can't progress forward to the process. For Carol and any others having this issue, I have written a letter to the Future Center, requesting to get by mail the information they are unable to provide by phone because they are completely overloaded. I recorded my mail as proof that I requested to pay voluntary contributions before the end of the fiscal year. You may want to try that too.
Posted Fri, 10 Mar 2023 11:16:02 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Hi set7755,

I am sorry to hear that you have been unable to speak to an advisor at HMRC. Our lines are extremely busy at present.
First of all I can confirm that the deadline to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions for certain tax years has been extended from 05/04/2023 to 31/07/2023.
Before you make any payments to HMRC you must contact the Pension Service at the Department of Work and Pensions to confirm if paying for particular years will increase your pension. Their contact details are 0800 731 0175 if you are below state pension age and 0800 731 7898 if you’ve reached state pension age.
If you do not confirm this with them, and at a later date find out that your payment has not increased your pension, you will not be entitled to a refund.
The only way to obtain your 18 digit reference number is to contact HMRC on 0300 200 3500, however our lines are extremely busy and customers are having problems getting through to an advisor. Alternatively, you can pay by cheque. Please see information below.
You can pay by sending a cheque to:
HM Revenue and Customs
National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
Allow 3 working days for your payment to reach HMRC.
Make your cheque payable to ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’.
Write your name and National Insurance reference number on the back of the cheque. 
Do not fold your cheque.
Include a letter with:
•    your name, address and phone number
•    your Class 3 National Insurance contributions reference number (or National Insurance number)
•    how much you’re paying
•    the period you’re paying for
If you would like a receipt for your cheque, please also request this on your letter.

Thank you

Posted Fri, 14 Apr 2023 15:58:01 GMT by
I'm in the same boat as everybody else. HMRC is clearly too busy to handle the demand. Even with the extended deadline (which should be extended much further) I fear I will get nowhere. I am trying to pay NI gaps for myself and my wife. I just want to make the payments. I can see the years and I have the amounts. Also, surely the DWP is capable of taking top up payments by bank transfer (with the NI number as a reference?) rather than sending cheques through the post. I would still like to see speak to an agent and my suggestion is that the agent calls me back when available rather than me waiting for three hours and giving up. Please let me know when you would be available to call. Thank you
Posted Sun, 14 May 2023 16:04:33 GMT by
According to my NI contributions record, I have a shortfall. Eager to pay additional contributions, I rang the relevant department several times and was warned each time that lines were busy and that I “might be cut off before an adviser became available”. This happened every time, from which I inferred that people in my position are cut off automatically, since no one is manning the phones. I shall try writing, but expect this to be ineffectual, too. Any honest advice on how to proceed would be gratefully acknowledged; recommendations that I ring premium telephone numbers will be considered disingenuous, since phone calls are never answered. I have to do this before July of this year.
Posted Mon, 15 May 2023 17:04:53 GMT by
I am keen to help my husband make voluntary contributions to make up incomplete years of NI and I managed to get through to DHS to check that if we did so then the incomplete years (from the 'check your NI contributions' page of the website) when fully paid would then count towards his pension. I am concerned that this is a verbal confirmation, not backed up by letter or email and in later years HMRC could simply change their mind and we would have no proof of the call made today. Then I find that there is no link on the HMRC webste to facilitate payment and no mention of the need to get an 18 digit number from 0300 200 3500 although, as you suggest above, we are unlikely to get to talk to someone on that line. I am happy to pay by cheque if this is the only way to complete this before the 31st July 2023 deadline. Could you please confirm that there is no better way to transact with you. Thanks.
Posted Thu, 18 May 2023 10:09:31 GMT by
Dear, I have been trying to contact +44 (0)191 218 3600 for days but never get through. I receive a busy tone after having gone through the lengthy but pointless option menu first. Is there a better number?? I am currently living abroad - moved late 2018 - and would like to complete my previous year NI contributions, but believe that the amounts stated to cover the shortfall under my record are incorrect. The amount to cover the shortfall (800 per year) corresponds to a class 3 contribution. As I have paid - and lived - contributions for 9 years, all the way until leaving the UK I should be eligible for class 2 contributions. Looking forward to your answer. Best Regards
Posted Fri, 19 May 2023 13:22:01 GMT by The Great Waldo
Like countless others, I have been following the advice NOT to make any payments to HMRC until I have spoken to the Pension Service at the Department of Work and Pensions. And like countless others, I have lost count of the number of times over the last few months that I have phoned, and not once managed to speak to anyone. If I am not told "call back later", I am usually just unceremoniously cut off. So can someone at HMRC/DWP please explain what exactly I am supposed to do? Do I just forget about the July deadline and accept the potential financial consequences in retirement, or do I have to spend all day, every day dialling and redialling the same number in the very slim chance that one day before the end of July I may get lucky?
Posted Fri, 19 May 2023 13:32:35 GMT by HMRC Admin 5
Hi Lyndon Jones

You will need to contact the National Insurance helpline here

National Insurance: general enquiries

Please note they cannot advise you if you should pay the shortfall, they will you to get a Pension forecast to help you decide if you should pay it.

Thank you.
Posted Fri, 19 May 2023 14:02:54 GMT by
Please don’t ask me to contact the NI “helpline”. I have explained that this is futile, since all calls are automatically cut off. If you read the content of the messages above, you will see that everyone is experiencing the same problem. 

Question on 14/05/23. 
Posted Fri, 19 May 2023 15:20:43 GMT by
if that can help anyone, I went directly to the HMRC phone (03002003500), and after a 40 minutes wait I could speak with a very nice lady that provided me with the 18 digit code. I did state that I could not contact the Future Pensions Centre, but that I was determined to pay voluntary contributions. Good luck to all of you
Posted Sat, 20 May 2023 14:25:48 GMT by
Hi, I was in the same position, calling since February, sent two forms via registered post, sent 2 messages online, (which I now can't find again, maybe removed). They did acknowledge in april/May that they had received the messages via the website, log into for your own account and on the top menu they have check. But what was worrying me was I couldn't remember what they said and there was no record of the two forms sent. - even though sent registered they got no signature - around the time of the strikes. So at a loss I called the suggested above from HRMC5 - National Insurance: general enquiries link, and I got through. A really nice man helped me and did state the same above - Please note they cannot advise you if you should pay the shortfall but could tell me they had recieved the forms - both of them and the processing time is 39 weeks from the date of recieving them, for me, and they would honour the fact theyrecieved them before the cut off date, which is now July 31st. I also was lucky enough that he could put me through to the right people who confirmed everything he had said. Even though it will be a while before sorting it out I have peace of mind - thanks HMRC Admin 5 I can sleep.
Posted Tue, 23 May 2023 14:57:39 GMT by HMRC Admin 19
Hi Kelvin Beer-Jones,

The best, and most convenient way to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions is by contacting National Insurance team.  

National Insurance: general enquiries

Our lines are very busy at the moment, however as the deadline has been extended, this should mean, that everyone has a chance to contact us.

Once you obtain the 18 digit reference you can then use this number to pay online, at your bank, or via online banking.

Thank you.
Posted Wed, 24 May 2023 08:18:12 GMT by HMRC Admin 8
Hi pierre soens,
If you are living abroad and are Not within 6 months of State Pension Age, the contact number to ring for the Future Pension Centre (DWP) is the number that you have been trying to contact below and they are open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm.  They also advertise the following: Contact the Future Pension Centre
As you have been living abroad, you may wish to visit Voluntary National Insurance: Eligibility:
GOV.UK) which advises the criteria for Class2 and Class3 Voluntary NICs for people living abroad and has a link to the leaflet NI38 to give more information.  
If you wish to apply for Voluntary NICs and want to know about gaps in NICs whilst abroad, please read the leaflet and complete and return the CF83 form.  
The shortfall advice you currently have will give the years at Class 3 rate.  
You will need to apply for Class2 information via CF83 and our International Caseworker Teams will assess your application and provide the Class2 advice if you meet the criteria for Class2.  
You may need to include confirmation of your employment/self- employment details since leaving the UK with your CF83 application form.

Posted Tue, 30 May 2023 12:11:36 GMT by
Dear Admin, My wife and I have been working overseas for around three years and are keen to make voluntary payments. Do you have any updates? I've written full letters and completed all the required paperwork and noticed via my Govt. Gateway that this paperwork has been received. I wrote back in October 2022, and again in February 2023, having not heard back. The progress (as cited above) is blocked, your phone numbers simply hang up (tried over 10 times or hours) and your website to view pension contributions, leads to a dead end, in so far as the link titled "how to pay" leads to a webpage on seeking advice on how to pay rather a payment page. I would really like to get this resolved, as part of our family plan to work overseas for a period was the ability to top up our State Pension at the same time, and it seems so needless that we have the fund to pay, want to pay, but the administration of a website and call centre are blocking our path? Any advice would be hugely appreciated.
Posted Wed, 31 May 2023 09:18:11 GMT by
SUCCESS! I was finally able to get through to a human being, ringing at 8.00 a.m. precisely. He understood my situation perfectly, explained to what degree I would benefit from making voluntary class three contributions and passed me via a reliable line to a colleague, who gave me the crucial 18 digit number. I have made the payment online, without significant further complications (I trust!). I am greatly relieved, BUT the process has been unpardonably exasperating, owing to the inefficiency of the call system. The two human beings with whom I spoke were both incredibly helpful; it is the bureaucracy that is failing everyone! Good luck to you all!
Posted Tue, 06 Jun 2023 13:37:42 GMT by HMRC Admin 19
Hi Dan Hodder,

You do not say which country you are working in, we are therefore unable to provide you with specific timescales.  You can check the following link for the current timescales:

Check when you can expect a reply from HMRC

We are unable to check specific cases on this forum, and the only way you can get an update is by calling us. The phone lines are extremely busy at the moment, but they are open 8 till 6 daily, we recommend you keep trying.

Thank you.
Posted Tue, 06 Jun 2023 18:55:42 GMT by
Dear Sir or Madam, Thanks for getting back to me; we are based in Jersey. I've written to Mel Stride MP (Minister for Work and Pensions) and my old local MP to shine some light on the situation here while notifying the States of Jersey that UK citizens are currently struggling (to put it mildly) to pay into their state pensions. I appreciate you getting back to me and thank you for the link, which appears to show that I can expect a letter back in May 2023 (8 months after writing), but the forum above should signal that the situation is far from satisfactory, which I am sure you are aware of yourself. I'll keep trying the phone lines and I hope to get some success with highlighting this issue. Thanks 

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