People reaching State Pension age after 5 April 2016 need at least 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to receive the full State Pension of £179.60 a week.

These contributions can be a combination of those actually paid and those you are deemed as having paid. For example, during the time when you may have been bringing up children or couldn`t work because of health issues.

For people with fewer qualifying years, your pension entitlement will be scaled back on a proportionate basis. For example, if you have 23 years of National Insurance contributions, you would be entitled to two thirds of the full pension.

Given that working lives tend to be 40 years or so, a lot of people will meet this 35-year condition. That said, if you do not you may be able to further build up your National Insurance record, by paying voluntary contributions now.

Missing National Insurance contributions

If you are someone who isn`t sure that they are on track to have make sufficient National Insurance contributions to receive a full basic State Pension, it`s possible to request a State Pension statement. In doing so, this could assist in your decision. You can do this by visiting the GOV.UK website and requesting a Pension Forecast.

Voluntary National Insurance contributions

If you have any gaps in your National Insurance record which to want to fill, usually you have to make the top-up payment within six years of missing the original payment. This is done by making voluntary National Insurance contributions.  In exceptional circumstances, you can fill in gaps going further back. The costs for making up for each ‘missing year’ depends on an individual’s personal circumstances.

If you’d like to discuss any points raised in this article, please contact your Dentons Wealth financial adviser.


Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate and correct, the information provided does not constitute any form of financial advice. We recommend that you take financial advice before making any financial decisions.