Hi Steve J. I paid £4,000 to top my wife’s NI record up to 35 years, also using the 18 digit reference. It took 3 chasing phone calls to HMRC before it was finally credited to her NI records after a total of 11 weeks. Then another call to the Pensions Office on 0800 731 0469 (Select Option for Change of Circumstances if your wife has already started receiving pension payments) so they can adjust the monthly pension amount.
Following my post a couple of weeks ago, my wife’s NI Contributions record has now been updated with the additional 5 years. This took another phone call to HMRC who sorted it out in 5 minutes. In all the delay was 11 weeks.
On 16 Nov 2021 I transferred nearly £4,000 to HMRC to top up my wife’s NI Contributions record from 30 years to 35 years. I used the 18 digit reference they provided to enable them to credit this payment to my wife’s account. Despite numerous phone calls to HMRC they have still not credited this sum to her account. My wife has now reached state pension retirement age and has received her first payment which is incorrectly based on 30 qualifying years. This is causing my wife and me considerable stress - £4,000 is a lot of money and yet it seems to have been “lost” within HMRC somewhere. Does anyone know how long the backlog is at present? We have been waiting almost 10 weeks so far. A comment from HRMC would be appreciated.