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Should you make voluntary contributions to fill any void?

Whilst at SuisseRock we specialise in helping clients review their personal and workplace pensions, we often get asked if they should consider contributing to their UK State pension still via their national insurance contribution’s.  With this in mind we have decided to publish some very useful information for you all which will help you understand the benefits and costs associated to doing so.

If you are not a British Citizen we would recommend that you investigate maximising your countries pension first, as there is likely to be tax benefits in doing so.

How to find out how many years you have contributed

You can check your National Insurance record online to see:

  • what you’ve paid, up to the start of the current tax year (6 April 2023)
  • any National Insurance credits you’ve received
  • if gaps in contributions or credits mean some years do not count towards your State Pension (they are not ‘qualifying years’)
  • if you can pay voluntary contributions to fill any gaps and how much this will cost

Your online record does not cover how much State Pension you’re likely to get.

Before you start

You need a Government Gateway user ID and password to check your National Insurance record. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one before you check your record.

How much will you receive?

If you have maximised your national insurance contributions (35 years) you will receive the maximum UK State Pension which is currently £203.85 per week (£10,600.20 per annum).

Each qualifying year on your National Insurance record after 5 April 2016 will add about £5.82 a week to your new State Pension. The exact amount you get is calculated by dividing £203.85 by 35 and then multiplying by the number of qualifying years after 5 April 2016.

You’ll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension and 35 qualifying years to get the full new State Pension.

You will get a proportion of the new State Pension if you have between 10 and 35 qualifying years.


You have 20 qualifying years on your National Insurance record after 5 April 2016.

You divide £203.85 by 35 and then multiply by 20.

Your new State Pension will be about £116.48 per week.

Annual increases

The new State Pension increases each year by whichever is the highest:

  • earnings – the average percentage growth in wages (in Great Britain)
  • prices – the percentage growth in prices in the UK as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
  • 2.5%

If you have a protected payment, it increases each year in line with the CPI.

The new State Pension has increased by 10.1% this year, in line with CPI.

How and when to pay

If you’re living abroad, read leaflet NI38 and fill in form CF83 (found at the end). Send it back to HMRC using the address on the form.


You can usually pay voluntary contributions for the past 6 years. The deadline is 5 April each year.

For example, you have until 5 April 2024 to make up for gaps for the tax year 2017 to 2018.

How much does it cost

Currently buying a full national insurance (NI) year costs £824, unless:

  • You’re topping up the two most recent tax years, in which case it’s about £20 to £30 cheaper, as you pay the original rate for those tax years.
  • You’re self-employed.
  • You’re topping up a partial year, in which case it’ll cost less to make it a full year.

The price of buying NI years is set to jump from 1 August 2023 from £824.20 to £907.40.

How much could it be worth?

A full NI year usually costs £824 and adds up to £275 each year to your pre-tax state pension. To contribute the maximum 35 years would cost £28,840. The return on investment is less than three years as you will receive £10,600.20 per annum in retirement.

If you were to investment £28,840 you would need to achieve an annual return of 36.75% to match this. So it is safe to say this is a very attractive way to maximise your income.

Do you need additional help?

If you need some guidance on the above or help with retirement planning please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team will be delighted to assist you.

Call us on +41 225 187 583

Email us at [email protected]

Book a convenient time using our online calendar BOOK NOW!

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