National Insurance Rates & Bands

Employees' National Insurance rates and bands

Individuals in employment have to pay National Insurance contributions if they have earnings over a certain amount of money. This amount is called the Primary Threshold. It changes annually and rates are determined by the Chancellor during his annual budget and is currently £663 per month effective April 2014.
Anyone who pays National Insurance contributions builds up a contribution record. Whether or not she/he can claim certain social security benefits will depend on this contribution record.

Employees' primary Class 1 rate (not contracted-out)

This rate is for employees who are not members of a University pension scheme and are in National Insurance category A.

Nil £0 - £663 per month
12% of £663 to £3,489 per month
2% on balance of earnings above £3,489 per month

Employees' primary Class 1 rate (contracted-out)

For those employees who are members of a University pensions scheme and are in National Insurance category D.
Employees also receive a rebate of 1.4% on earnings between £111 and £153 per week or £481 and £663 per month.

Nil £0 - £663 per month
10.6% of £663 to £3,337 per month
12% on earnings between £3,337 to £3,489 per month 
2% on balance of earnings above £3,489 per month


Payment of NI contributions over State Pension age

Employees over State pension age do not have to pay the employee's contribution.

To find out more you can contact them at the address below:

Inland Revenue National Insurance Contributions Office
Class 1 Caseworker
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ


Special treatment for some married women and widows

Some married women and widows have the right to pay reduced rate NI contributions. These women should provide us with a valid "certificate of election". This reduced rate is no longer available to new applicants.

If you currently hold a "certificate of election" you are required by law to let us know of any changes in your circumstances which may affect your right to reduced liability.


Deferment of the payment of employees' contribution for employees with more than one job

If you have more than one employment and anticipate that at least one of your employments will exceed the Upper Earnings Limit of £41,868 per annum, you can apply to defer some of your contributions liability. Where permission is granted you will pay a reduced employee rate of 2% on earnings over £663 per month.


Your National Insurance numberNI card in pocket 

Only one number is allocated to you and you keep that same number throughout your life.  It is unique to you and ensures that your NI contributions are credited to your NI account and are correctly recorded.  You will need these contributions and credits when you come to claim benefit, whether it is for a short while, like incapacity benefit, or long term, such as your retirement pension.

All residents working in the UK have a National Insurance number.  UK nationals are issued with them automatically at age 16 years.  Non-UK nationals will have to apply for one.  To do this you must make an appointment to be interviewed at the local Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offices:


Jobcentre plus

St.Cross House
18 Bernard Street
United Kingdom
SO14 2HP

Telephone: 0845 6000 643

Your number will then be issued some weeks later on a plastic National Insurance number card. As soon as you receive your number, contact us with the details. The number will be made up of numbers and letters, like this: AB 12 34 56 C. National Insurance numbers cannot be used for the purpose of identification.  Please note that numbers beginning with TN are not valid numbers.

Not having a National Insurance number will not stop you from being paid by the Payroll Office providing you have given evidence of your permission to work to your employing department and has no effect on your tax code or status.  The issuing of a number will not initiate a tax refund.  The Tax Office may give you a personal reference that looks similar to a National Insurance number as it is a mix of alpha and numeric.  This is NOT your National Insurance number unless it is in the format shown above.

If you would like further information about registering for a National Insurance number contact:

National Insurance Registrations Helpline,  tel.: 0845 915 7006

Department for Work and Pensions website,