National Insurance contributions: What happens after you reach state pension age? | Personal Finance

The state pension age is something a person must reach in order to claim the state pension. It has been rising in recent years, and is set to continue to do so in coming years.

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State pension age: What age will I get my state pension?

Once a person reaches state pension age they may opt to either claim the state pension.

Alternatively, it may be that they opt to defer the payment.

People can continue working after reaching state pension age, even if they claim the state pension.

However, a person does not pay National Insurance after they reach state pension age.

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National Insurance contributions: State pension age woman and daughter looking at finances

National Insurance contributions: Some people may what happens when they reach state pension age (Image: GETTY)

That said, the website says that there are some people who may continue to do so.

This is if they are self-employed and paying Class 4 contributions.

Should a person be employed, they pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions as a percentage of their earnings up to state pension age.

However, states: “If you’re self-employed, you pay Class 2 contributions at a flat weekly rate and Class 4 contributions annually as a percentage of your taxable profits.”

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At state pension age, a person stops paying Class 1 and Class 2 contributions, even if they continue to working.

But, those required to pay Class 4 contributions will still have to pay them at state pension age if they have taxable profits from the year they reach state pension age. explains that the next year, they will be exempt.

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Should a person continue working, then those who are employed are told to show their employer proof of age in order to ensure they stop paying National Insurance.

This can be done via a birth certificate or passport.

If this is something one would rather keep private from their employer, there is an alternative options.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can instead send the individual a letter which can then be showed to the employer.

This letter will confirm that the person has reached state pension age and they do not need to pay National Insurance.


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This isn’t something which is sent automatically however, as the person at state pension age will need to write to HMRC explaining why they don’t want their employer to see their birth certificate or passport.

People who have a certificate of age exception (CA4140) may also show this.

Should a person have overpaid National Insurance, it is possible to claim a refund.

The “Claim a National Insurance refund” tool on the government website may be used in order to find out what the individual needs to do.