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Topping up

12 January 2016 / Sarah Bradford
Issue: 4533 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Pensions

The advantages and disadvantages of paying Class 3A NICs for those nearing state retirement pension age.


  • Class 3A contributions are payable until 5 April 2017.
  • Each contribution tops up the state pension by £1 a week.
  • Contributions are payable by eligible persons who reach state pension age before 6 April 2016.
  • A 90-day cooling-off period applies.
  • A proportion of the additional pension is inheritable.


The state pension is being reformed. Those who reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2016 and who have paid or been credited with sufficient contributions will receive the new single-tier state pension. By contrast those who reach state pension age before 6 April 2016 will receive their entitlement by reference to the current two-tier system. This comprises the basic state pension and the earnings-related second state pension (S2P). They will continue to receive...

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