Reduced rate National Insurance for Married Women
Until April 1977, married women could choose to pay a reduced rate of National Insurance (external link) (sometimes called the ‘small stamp’).
The reduced rate is 5.85% of your weekly earnings between £166.01 and £962 (instead of the standard rate of 12% (external link)) if you are employed.
You might still be paying the reduced rate if you opted in before the scheme ended.
If you are Self-employed
You do not pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions (external link) if you opted in before the scheme ended.
How your Benefits are Affected if you are Opted In
Your State Pension will be reduced and you will not be able to claim some benefits.
You will not usually be entitled to benefits based on your National Insurance contributions (external link).
You will not usually get National Insurance credits (external link) unless:
- you are a widow
- you get Child Benefit for a child under 12
- you are looking after someone who is sick or disabled
You may still be able to claim:
- benefits based on your husband’s contributions (such as Bereavement Allowance)
- statutory payments (such as Statutory Sick Pay)
- benefits that are not based on your contributions (such as Carer’s Allowance)
Increase your State Pension
Get a State Pension statement (external link) if you want an estimate of what you will get when you reach State Pension age. You can also check your National Insurance record (external link)for gaps.
You might be able to increase your State Pension (external link).
Stop Paying the Reduced Rate
Once you give up your right to pay the reduced rate, you cannot claim it again.
If your Circumstances Change
You will lose the right to pay the reduced rate if:
- you get divorced
- you have not earned over the Lower Earnings Limit (currently £118 a week (external link)), or been self-employed, for 2 tax years in a row
If your husband dies, you may be able to keep your right for a certain time. Contact HMRC (external link) for more information.
Tell your employer or HMRC if you lose the right to pay the reduced rate. You might owe HMRC unpaid National Insurance if you do not.
What you Need to do
Tell your employer - they will fill in part 2 of your ‘certificate of election’ and give it back to you. Fill in part 1 and send it back to HMRC.
If you are self-employed, register to pay Class 2 National Insurance (external link) straight away. Fill in part 1 of your certificate of election and send it back to HMRC.
Start Paying the Reduced Rate
You must already be opted into the scheme.
Give your ‘certificate of election’ - form CA4139, CF383 or CF380A - to your employer if you want to claim your entitlement to pay the reduced rate.
If you opted in but do not have your certificate, you can apply for a new one by sending form CF9 (if you’re married) (external link) or form CF9A (if you’re a widow) (external link) to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
National Insurance contributions and Employers Office
HM Revenue and Customs