What contributions are
Contributions are payments that are made by law. They go into a social security fund that pays for benefits, pensions and health services.
Class 1 contributions
Employed earners and their employers pay Class 1 contributions.
Class 1 contributions are earnings related and are made up of two elements:
the employee's contribution (primary contribution)
the employer's contribution (secondary contribution)
Employers deduct the primary contribution from their employees’ wages and pay that together with the secondary contribution to Social Security.
Class 2 contributions
You pay Class 2 contributions if you're not employed or self-employed.
If you don't pay your contributions by the due date on your statement of account, it may affect your entitlement to benefits.
How much money you'll pay
Class 1 contributions are based on how much you earn. They are paid to us by your employer.
You pay Class 1 contributions if you are employed and earn the minimum earnings threshold or more.
A 6% primary contribution is deducted from your wage and a 6.5% secondary contribution is paid to us by your employer.
Paying contributions if you're employed
You pay Class 2 contributions if you do not earn enough through your employer to cover your contributions or you're not employed.
Class 2 contributions include both the primary contribution and the secondary contribution.
If we don’t hear from you, your monthly contributions bill will be £1,082.80 in 2023.
Find out more about Class 2 Social Security contributions, including who needs to pay and how.
We’ll automatically send you any refund you are due at the end of the quarter.
You might have overpaid if you have:
- contribution credits
- Class 1 contribution payments
- a Short Term Incapacity Allowance claim
- a pension starting
Who must pay contributions
You're liable to pay contributions if you are:
This means that you're liable to pay contributions even if you are:
looking after a family
Why contributions are paid
Contributions are paid so that we can provide a range of Social Security contributory benefits, pensions and health services to you when you’re in need. The table below shows where your contributions go.
|Class 1 (Employee)||5.2%||0.8%|
|Class 1 (Employer)||5.3%||1.2%|
|Amounts over the standard earning level (Class 1 and Class 2)||2.5%||0%|
Depending on your contribution record, you may be entitled to the full range of benefits.
These benefits include:
Short Term Incapacity Allowance
Long Term Incapacity Allowance
Old Age Pension
If you can’t afford to pay contributions
In some cases, contribution credits are available. These protect your Social Security contribution record whilst you are studying or looking after children under school age. They also protect your entitlement to certain benefits.
You must apply for these as we don’t add them to your record automatically.
Contribution credits for people off work sick or injured
Contribution credits for people who have been made redundant
Contribution credits for a stay at home parent: Home Responsibility Protection
Student credits for people over 18 in full time education
We can also cover the contributions of people on:
- Parental Allowance
- Survivor's Allowance
- Home Carer's Allowance
If you have a low income or aren't working
You can apply for Low Income Contribution Relief in 2023 if you:
- have a low income and aren't working
- are working and earning below £1,080 per month
self-employed with predicted income less than £20,240 in the current year
Having Low Income Contribution Relief excuses you from paying Class 2 contributions.
If you don’t pay contributions, your future applications for benefits may be reduced or your application may not be approved for the following benefits:
- Incapacity Benefit
- Parental Benefit
- Home Carers
How to apply
To apply for Low Income Contribution Relief, complete the form below.
Low Income Contributions Relief
When and how to pay contributions
You’ll pay Class 1 contributions through your wages. You don’t need to do anything as these are paid directly to us by your employer.
Class 2 contributions should be paid every month by the 15th. Rates vary depending on your income and circumstances.
Pay your Social Security contributions and instalments