Question: My son is 24 and looking for work. For the past three years he has had a part time job, paying £70 a week. He pays no tax or national insurance. He is paying off a student loan of £8,000 at £35 per month. I am concerned at his lack of National Insurance contributions. Should he reduce the student load payment and pay NI contributions instead? SW
Answer: Paul Neely, a certified financial planner with the First Trust Bank, says: Your son’s entitlement to Jobseeker’s Allowance, Incapacity Benefit and State Pension depend on NI contributions. Those earning over £110 per week make Class 1 contributions.
He will be treated as making contributions once he earns £95 per week, though without making personal contributions. Your son can decide to make contributions through Class 3 ‘voluntary’ contributions — currently set at £12.05 per week. These do not count towards all benefits, for example, Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The number of years contributions to qualify for basic state retirement pension has been reduced to 30 years for those due to retire from 6 April 2010.