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If you are yet to reach state pension age (SPA), you will need to have accrued 35 complete years of National Insurance Contributions (NIC), to receive the full state pension. To receive any UK state retirement pension, you need at least 10 complete NIC years.

You can check how much state pension you are due to receive through your personal tax account on gov.uk. We can help you with this.

You may not receive the full pension if you were contracted out of the second state pension or State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) for part of your working life.

It is possible to plug gaps in your NIC record by paying voluntary class 2 or class 3 NIC. This payment generally needs to be made within six years of the gap year, but there are a number of exceptions which extend that period.

You may also qualify for NI credits for some years if you were claiming state benefits, child benefit or were a foster carer. The NI credits were not always applied automatically, so it’s worth checking your own NIC record.
If you have already paid enough NIC to get the full state pension, you may consider taking further rewards from your company in other forms, such as dividends or private pension contributions.

Action Point!
Consider topping up your NIC record by claiming NIC credits or paying more contributions.

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Clarke Nicklin House, Brooks Drive, Cheadle Royal Business Park, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 3TD. Registered Number OC309225.
The firm is registered to carry on audit work in the UK & Ireland. Details about our audit registration can be viewed at www.auditregister.org.uk under reference number C001178544. The professional rules applicable are the Audit Regulations and Guidance which can be found at www.icaew.com/regulations, and the International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) which can be found at www.frc.org.uk/apb/publications/isa.cfm.