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National insurance contributions (NIC) - What benefits do my national insurance contributions (NIC) pay for?

National insurance is a tax on your earnings that goes into the National Insurance Fund which pays for various benefits. This guide covers some basic information about NIC.

What benefits do my national insurance contributions (NIC) pay for?

For some UK benefits, you need to have paid or been credited national insurance contributions (NIC). These are called contributory benefits. There are other benefits where provided the rules for claiming apply to you, it does not matter whether or not you have paid any NI contributions. 

Benefits which depend on NIC include:

Benefits which do not depend on NIC include:


Class 1

Class 2 

 Class 3

Maternity Allowance Yes           Yes            No
Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance   Yes            No             No
Incapacity Benefit Yes           Yes            No
Employment and Support Allowance        Yes           Yes            No
Widow's Benefits  Yes           Yes           Yes
Basic State Pension  Yes           Yes           Yes
State Second Pension     Yes           No             No


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