National Insurance is a type of HMRC tax where workers (whether employed or self-employed) pay into a personal ‘pot’ which then entitles them to certain state benefits such as:
- Unemployment benefits
- Statutory sick pay
- Maternity pay or maternity allowance
- State pension
It is also referred to as ‘NI’ or ‘Social Security’ and is payable by UK workers aged 16 and over.
Contributions are deducted by your employer each time you are paid or, if you are self-employed, once a year when you submit your self-assessment tax return.