The amount of state pension you receive on retirement depends on how many full years for which you have paid National Insurance Contributions.
You can check your National Insurance record at www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record, or request a print out by telephone or by e-mail.
Self- employed individuals have to pay a flat rate of class 2 NIC and a separate class 4 NIC, which is based on the taxpayer’s annual profits. For many years, class 2 NIC was paid to the Department of Social Security or at the Post Office. Since 1996 it has been collected by the Inland Revenue now HMRC.
If you did not pay class 2 NIC, you may have a significant gap in your National Insurance record. Although class 4 NIC is generally a larger annual payment, it provides the payer with no entitlement to state benefits or pension.
You can fill gaps in your National Insurance records for the last six tax years, and you may be eligible to claim National Insurance credits for other years.