More about the NI number

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More about the NI number

Post  Admin on Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:48 am

What is a National Insurance Number?

A National Insurance (NI) Number is a personal number allocated to you which should be used in all your dealings with HM Revenue & Customs or the Department for Work and Pensions.
The number is unique to you and ensures that the government correctly credits and records contributions you are entitled to or have paid to your NI account.
NI goes towards the UK social security and state pension system, so you will need these NI credits when you come to claim benefits, such as the basic pension.
Most Antipodeans and South Africans will not be UK residents when they reach their golden years - but the government will not refund you your contributions when you go home (unless you are a Kiwi). The only way to put these contributions to use is to contract them out of NI and put them into a private pension, which you can then transfer back home.

When to apply

You need an NI number if you are starting or intending to work.

Where to apply for one

If you are based in London, you can phone me on 0207 440 8440 to book an appointment at Protocol's Chancery Lane office. We will only need to see your passport if you are registered as a teacher with us and have also been paid once.
If you cannot get to London, call 0845 600 0643 to make an appointment to apply for one. This will involve much more paperwork, so be sure to ask them what they need to see before setting off!

Who uses my NI number?

-Employers, for the deduction of tax and NI contributions
-Jobcentre plus, to administrate job seekers allowance
-The Department for Work and Pensions

What do I do with it?

-You should quote it on letters or forms you send to HM Revenue & Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions.

When you leave the UK

On leaving the UK you can either continue to hold you UK-based personal pension fund or choose to transfer the balance into an approved pension fund at home.
The benefit of transferring your fund abroad is flexibility. This is because under current UK legislation, if you continue to hold retirement savings in a UK pension fund, you will be required to use the lump sum to purchase an annuity upon retirement (a type of financial product that provides a set income for life).
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