MSE News

State pension boosting deadline extended again to April 2025 – here's what you need to know

The deadline to top up missing national insurance years between 2006 and 2016 has been extended for a second time – now to 5 April 2025 – and the price of doing so will remain frozen at current costs during this period. The changes mean you'll have more time to check your record and see if you can boost your state pension.

The provisions allowing people to top up missing years going back to 2006 had initially been due to end on 5 April 2023, before the Government extended the deadline to 31 July 2023. (MSE) had found many were struggling to get through to official helplines for vital information.

Now, pension savers have until 5 April 2025 to check their records and pay any voluntary contributions, as the Government has today confirmed a further extension to the deadline. It says the revised deadline is expected to enable tens of thousands more people to boost the amount they can get when they retire.

You can earn qualifying years in a range of ways, including through employment or by claiming certain benefits. But thousands of people still don't have enough to claim the full new state pension, which is why many are considering paying to plug gaps. Doing this can can be incredibly lucrative. Many, for example, can spend £800 or less and get £5,500 back. See our Boosting your state pension guide for more details and step-by-step help.

Martin Lewis: 'This extension is very good news'

MSE founder, Martin Lewis, posted his instant reaction to the extension on Twitter ahead of ITV's The Martin Lewis Money Show special on it tomorrow (Tuesday 13 June): 

Martin also shared that the Government is looking to tweak the process by making some parts of it digital:

Why the deadline's been extended again

The Government says it's made the change in response to high demand. Laura Trott, minister for pensions, said: "I am pleased to see so many people taking steps to review their state pension, which is why we have extended the deadline for customers to add extra years to their national insurance record."

Earlier this year, an MSE survey found that the official helplines run by the Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC – which you have to contact as part of the process – were completely overwhelmed, with thousands of people voicing concerns that they could not get through to get the information they needed.

In recent weeks, similar issues had been starting to crop up again as the previous 31 July deadline approached, with one reader telling MSE they'd tried to call 112 times and been cut off every time. With less pressure on the official helplines, it should now be easier to get through – though this isn't guaranteed. 

You now have until 5 April 2025 to plug gaps going back to 2006

Normally, you can only top up gaps in your national insurance record from the previous six tax years. However, when the new state pension system was introduced in 2016, the Government put in place "transitional arrangements" letting you plug gaps going back to 2006.

These arrangements, which were set up to give people under the age of 70(ish) more time to accumulate enough 'qualifying' national insurance years to receive the full new state pension, had been due to end on 5 April 2023 – but will now remain in place until 5 April 2025 following today's announcement.

Top-up prices for previous years will also be frozen until April 2025

In addition to extending the deadline, the Government has confirmed that the cost of voluntary national insurance contributions for the tax years 2006/07 to 2022/23 will remain at their current 2022/23 levels until 5 April 2025. 

Prices for most qualifying years had been due to jump by 10.1% – in line with the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation – from 6 April this year, but this didn't go ahead.

For full details on the cost of topping up missing years – and how to check if it's worth it – see our State pension boosting guide.

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