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National Insurance (NI) contributions are payments made towards certain benefits such as the state retirement pension, employment and support allowance (contribution-based) and contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance.

Your NI payments should be made automatically for you by your employer.

How much do I pay?

For the tax year 2015-16, NI is paid in two bands:

  • 12% on earnings over £155 per week up to £815 per week
  • 2% of earnings above £827 per week

You will pay a lower amount as an employee if you are a member of your employer’s contracted out pension scheme. Your NI payments should be made automatically for you by your employer.

The payments are different if you are self-employed. Refer to the GOV.UK National Insurance site for further information on paying National Insurance if you are self-employed.

National Insurance Number

Every National Insurance number is different. The number makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded on your account. It also acts as a reference number for the whole social security system. You will have to give your National Insurance number to your employer when you start work. If you don’t have a National Insurance number, you can apply to get one online.

It is possible to overpay NI contributions. If you think you might have overpaid NI contributions look at the GOV.UK National Insurance refunds site to see about how to obtain a refund.

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