National Insurance, or NI, is a tax on earnings and self-employed profits.

NI is paid by UK salaried employees over 16, who earn more than £242 per week, or the self-employed who make a profit of £6,725 or more per year.

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About National Insurance

Introduced in 1911, National Insurance is a mandatory tax paid by most workers in the UK.

National Insurance contributions can build up your entitlement to certain benefits, including state pensions.

The money is collected by HMRC, the UK tax authority. For most people this happens automatically as the sums are deducted by employers as part of their payroll processes (PAYE).

Both employees and employers make an NI payment. Employees see this as a deduction from their gross salary, and it shows up as a separate line on their payslips. The self-employed must make their NI payments as part of their annual tax return.

How much is National Insurance?

If you are employed, you pay Class 1 National Insurance. The amount of NI you pay will depend on how much you earn.

For example if you earn £1,000 per week, from April 2024 you will pay:

Changes to National Insurance

In his 2024 Spring Budget, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a 2p cut to National Insurance.

Employees will now pay National Insurance at a rate of 8% on their earnings between £12,570 and £50,270, down from 10%.