I run a limited company, and want to pay myself a wage. There is a limit to what you can pay yourself before the company has to pay National Insurance contributions. But what is the minimum wage you can pay yourself in order to get a Qualifying Year on your National Insurance record (for State Pension purposes)?

  • credited with a full years national insurance What do you mean ?
    – DumbCoder
    Mar 3, 2020 at 10:51
  • 1
    @DumbCoder presumably, enough contributions to make a Qualifying Year for state pension purposes? Mar 3, 2020 at 12:35
  • Assuming this is the intent behind the question I've edited it accordingly and will post an answer. Mar 3, 2020 at 13:08
  • @marktristan that's correct, do you know what the minimum salary is to qualify for a year on your National Insurance record!
    – jon
    Mar 3, 2020 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


The gov.uk website makes this very difficult to find out, so your question is understandable.

For an employee, if you're earning a wage of more than £166 a week (2019/20) you will pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions (12% on the amount above that). Carry these on for a full year and that should make one Qualifying Year.[1]

However – if you earn between £118 and £166 a week, although you don't actually pay Class 1s, your contributions are treated as having been paid to protect your National Insurance record. [2][3]

So the short answer is £118 a week, or £6,136 a year.

The only true way to know whether you have a Qualifying Year is to check your own National Insurance record after the fact, and you can make voluntary contributions to 'top up' if you have not quite made enough for a Qualifying Year.

There is a lot more information on qualifying here – including conditions for whether or not you have an NI record before 2016: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/understanding-and-qualifying-new-state-pension

  • While this is correct based on the numbers, I paid myself £9909.63 for the 2018/2019 tax year and I didn't get a full NIC year (shortfall of £483.45 by the website). I'm not sure why -- as we don't see those calculations -- but there might be something else as well that affects this (?).
    – gktscrk
    Mar 11, 2020 at 19:36

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