Yes, your entitlement to certain state benefits depends on your National Insurance contributions record.
Unlike tax, National Insurance does not take into account your total cumulative income, and therefore, it is possible to end up with a situation like yours where your total income is fairly good, but you do not trigger any National Insurance.
You are not obliged to pay any National Insurance in your case; however, if you are concerned about your state benefits entitlement, you may wish to pay voluntary contributions – Class 3 National Insurance. Class 3 is £13.25 per week for 2012/13.
Complete form CA5603 if you would like to apply to pay Class 3, which is available on HM Revenue & Customs’ website www.hmrc.gov.uk.
By Jo Nockels
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