What is National Insurance?


What is National Insurance, what do you get for it, and what are the different categories?

UK citizens of working age pay National Insurance contributions in addition to income tax. The contributions count towards entitlement for some state benefits including the state pension.

  • Anyone earning more than £155 a week as an employee has to pay national insurance, as does
  • Anyone who is self-employed and makes a profit of £5,965 or more a year

There are different classes of contributions. Class 1: Employees earning £155+ per week. Automatically deducted by employer.

Class 1A or 1B: Employers pay these on behalf of employees.

Class 2: Self-employed people earning less than £5,965 a year

Class 3: Voluntary contributions to fill in gaps in payment

Class 4: Self-employed people earning over £8,060 a year

In the 2017 Budget Chancellor Phillip Hammond introduced changes to National Insurance categories and levels. Class 2 will be abolished, and Class 4 contributions will rise to 10% in April 2018 and to 11% in April 2019. The government says only the self-employed with profits of more than £16,250 will pay more.


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