National Insurance (NI)

Employees' National Insurance rates and bands

Employees' primary Class 1 rate (contracted-in)

This standard rate is for the majority of employees (National Insurance category A). Employees contribute 12% of earnings subject to NI, above the Primary Threshold and 2% over the upper earnings limit.

For further reference, the current National Insurance bands and rates can be found on the HMRC web pages.

Payment of NI contributions over State Pension age

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

If your birthday falls on or before the payday for that month your contributions should cease from the 1st of that month. For example, if your birthday is 20th August (with payday 28th August) no contributions are due for the whole month.

If your birthday falls after payday for that month you will pay contributions on the whole month. For example, if your birthday is 30th August (with payday 28th August) contributions are due for the whole month.

Changes to the State Pension Age

For most up to date information about changes to the State pension age, see the pension advisory service website.

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 £45,000 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 £680 per month.

For example, If you are paid £50,000 by one employer and paid £15,000 by another then you could apply for deferment on the secondary employment. The employer paying the lower salary will be issued with a form CA2700 which gives authority to deduct NI contributions at 2% only on all earnings over £680 per month.

To apply for deferment you need complete the form: "Deferring Payment" (CA72A) from the HMRC Website.

Your National Insurance number

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 or credits to your NI account 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
7 Worcester Street
Oxford
OX1 2BX
Tel.: +44 (0) 8456 000643

This website explains how to apply for a National Insurance number.

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 or 0845 915 5670.

Contact details

For further information, please contact:
Payroll team
Telephone: 01865 (6)16301
Email: payroll@admin.ox.ac.uk