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
Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.