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Gerry MacCrossan


If you are aged 45 to 70 and have gaps in your National Insurance record prior to 2016, then this blog is for you.

At MMG Chartered Accountants, we understand the importance of planning for retirement. That is why we want to make sure that you are aware of an important deadline that is fast approaching. The government scheme which allows people to fill gaps in their national insurance (NI) record dating as far back as 2006 is ending on 5 April 2023.

Why is this important?

To receive the full State Pension, you need 35 years of qualifying years. If you do not have enough qualifying years to get the State Pension, you can buy missing years to top this up. After 5 April 2023, you will only be able to fill gaps that you have had in the previous 6 tax years. Any gaps prior to this will be lost forever.

How much does it cost to top up?

In most cases (but not all), a full year costs a one-off payment of £824 to buy and would add £275 pa to your State pension. So, you would break even after just three years of receiving the State Pension, or just less than 4 years if you pay income tax.

To put this in context, to buy £275 pa index-linked income for life from age 67 on the open market would currently cost more than £6,000!

Why top up?

The State Pension is index linked and is currently guaranteed to rise by the highest of:

  • Average earnings
  • Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
  • 5%

This means that the State Pension is likely to increase over time, and so topping up your contributions now could result in a higher income during your retirement.

How to find out if you have any gaps

You can contact the Future Pension Centre to find out if you have any gaps. The contact numbers for doing so are:

  • If you are not yet at State Pension age: 0800 731 0175
  • If you are already at State Pension age: 0800 731 0469

The above lines are open Monday to Friday between 8 am and 6 pm. It is free to call, however, be prepared to wait a while as lines will currently be very busy.

Please note:

  • Not everyone will be eligible to top up their missing years.
  • Not everyone will be better off if they buy more years.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you contact the Future Pension Centre to find out if you have any gaps and to get more information.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to top up your State Pension contributions. Contact MMG Chartered Accountants today to speak to our team and find out how we can help you plan for a comfortable retirement.