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What is National Insurance?

By Ian Robinson

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What is National Insurance?

In this two-minute video, Which? explains what National Insurance is, who has to pay it and what doing so entitles you to.

What is National Insurance? 

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

Paying National Insurance entitles you to some state benefits, though these vary according to whether you're employed, self-employed or making voluntary contributions. 

Our short video explains who has to pay National Insurance and the benefits you're entitled to when you pay. 

Find out more: National Insurance rates – a detailed breakdown of how much you'll have to pay

Making National Insurance contributions

If you're employed, National Insurance is automatically deducted from your monthly pay. If you're self-employed, you'll need to organise these contributions yourself. 

Either way, to ensure you pay the right amount of tax, it's important to check that you have the correct tax code.

Find out more: Tax codes explained – tips on understanding your coding notice

  • Last updated: April 2017
  • Updated by: Tom Wilson

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