Topping up your state pension – on missing gaps

Are you a man born after 6th April 1951 or a woman born after 6th April 1953?

If so and, if you have any gaps in your National Insurance record you have a special opportunity to top up contributions back to April 2006 onwards.

For a full state pension, you need 35 years of contributions. You may have a gap for any of the following reasons:

  • Your income has been by way of dividends with any salary under the lower earnings limit.
  • You were self-employed but exempted paying contributions because of low profits.
  • You were employed but had low earnings.
  • You were living or working abroad.
  • You took a career break.
  • You were unemployed but did not claim benefits.

Sign in to check your National Insurance record and see if there are any gaps. If you find gaps, you can make voluntary contributions to boost your state pension. These contributions can be made up until you reach the state pension age, but doing so earlier can be more cost-effective.

It’s crucial to assess whether making additional contributions is beneficial. Consider factors such as your current financial situation, your overall retirement plans, and the potential increase in your pension.

Consulting a financial advisor can help you make an informed decision. Ensuring you have a complete National Insurance record can significantly enhance your financial security during retirement. For more details, visit the HMRC website.

You can check for gaps in you NI record here:

HMRC services: sign in or register: Sign in to HMRC online services – GOV.UK (

You will need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you find that you do have gaps, you need to way up the cost and benefit from filling those gaps.

This opportunity ends on 05 April 2025.