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The government is making it easier for customers to check for and fill any gaps in their National Insurance (NI) record to help increase their State Pension by launching a new online service today (29 April 2024).

The Check your State Pension forecast – a joint service by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – has been enhanced to include a fully end-to-end digital solution.

The service will show customers by how much their State Pension could increase and details of the voluntary NI contributions they would need to pay to achieve this. It allows most people under State Pension age to view gaps in their NI record and pay voluntary contributions to fill those gaps, if it will benefit them.

Anyone with NI gaps in some of their tax years that could increase their State Pension if filled, can use the new digital service to choose which years they would like to pay to fill. They can then pay securely through the service and will receive confirmation that their payment has been received and that their NI record will be updated.

Customers can access the Check your State Pension forecast via GOV.UK or via the HMRC app.

Those who are eligible have until 5 April 2025 to pay voluntary contributions to make up gaps in their NI record between 6 April 2006 and 5 April 2018. From 6 April 2025, people will only be able to pay voluntary contributions for the previous 6 tax years, in line with normal time limits.

Nigel Huddleston, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Having peace of mind when planning for retirement is crucial to ensure people can enjoy later life. That’s why HMRC has launched this new online service today, making a real difference for thousands of pensioners in their retirement while providing certainty to those in their middle years and those still planning ahead.”

Minister for Pensions, Paul Maynard, said: “The State Pension is the foundation of income in retirement, which is why we have introduced this new online tool to help simplify boosting it for those who are able to. I would encourage everyone to check their State Pension forecast and to take a look at how they could improve their State Pension award with only a few simple clicks.”

Last year, the government extended the deadline to pay voluntary NI contributions to 5 April 2025 for those affected by new State Pension transitional arrangements. This covers tax years from 6 April 2006 to 5 April 2018. The extended deadline means that people now have more time to properly consider whether paying voluntary contributions is right for them and ensures no-one need miss out on the possibility of increasing their State Pension.

Paying voluntary contributions will not always increase their State Pension but everyone can use the new service to check whether they could be better off in retirement before making any voluntary NI payments.

Customers will need to login to the new digital service using their Personal Tax Account login details. Those without an online HMRC account can register on GOV.UK.

Everyone should be aware of the risk of falling victim to scams and should never share their HMRC login details with anyone, including a tax agent, if they have one. HMRC scams advice is available on GOV.UK.