National Insurance Contributions Top Up Scheme

11 January 2016

Those people who reach state pension age prior to 6 April 2016 are being offered the chance to make voluntary national insurance contributions to boost their state pension. The contributions are known as class 3A and the scheme through which the contributions will be collected commenced12 October 2015.

It is open to people who reach state pension before 6 April 2016 as they are ineligible for the new state pension that launches on this day.

The class 3A contributions can increase the state pension up to a maximum of £25 per week and the cost to the individual will depend on their age. The contribution level also takes into account average life expectancy.

An extra £10 of state pension a week will cost a 65 year old £8,900 and for a 75 year old it will cost £6,740.  In most cases surviving spouses/civil partners will be able to inherit at least 50% of the extra pension.

The scheme closes 5 April 2017.

More information on the scheme and an online calculator can be found at:

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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