National Insurance (NI)

If you’re an employee or self-employed and your earnings are over a certain amount you’ll pay NI contributions (NICs). This builds up your entitlement to certain social security benefits, including the state pension.

Paying National Insurance contributions

The following rates of NICs apply:

  • if earnings are above £157 a week and up to £866 per week you pay 12 % of this amount
  • if earnings are above £866 a week you pay 2% of this

If you run your own business you may also have to pay NICs, depending on the level of your earnings from self-employment.

For more detailed information about National Insurance rates and allowances visit the HM Revenue and Customs or contact the National Insurance helpline: 0843 515 9058.

National Insurance Number (NINO)

You’ll usually receive a NINO card when you reach the age of 16. Make sure you:

  • always quote your NINO correctly
  • give it to your employer when you start work
  • quote it if you need to contact HM Revenue and Customs

Using your NINO correctly will make sure the NI contributions you pay are recorded against your name and will help to prevent identity theft. It will also make sure you pay the right amount of tax.

How to get a National Insurance Number (NINO)

If you’re an international student and you want to work you can apply for a NINO by phoning the Jobcentre Plus NINO allocation service helpline on 0845 600 0643.

If you have more than one job

If you work for more than one employer - and their businesses are not associated with each other - each employer will look at earning thresholds separately.

If you have two employers paying you £78 each per week you would not have to pay NI contributions, even though the total you earn is £156. This is because neither employer is paying you above the £155 earnings threshold. This is different to income tax where all of your income is added together to see if you have tax to pay.

For further information about NICs: