What is National Insurance and How to Get Your National Insurance Number

Find our what National Insurance is, why we pay it, and how to get hold of a National Insurance number if you don't have one or have lost yours.

What is National Insurance?

National Insurance is an amount of money you pay when you’re working to help fund things like Maternity Leave, State Pensions and Jobseekers Allowance.

Why do I get a National Insurance Number?

This is to make sure you are paying the right amount and that your contributions are recorded. It makes sure you pay the amount you need to and don’t pay for someone else’s!

Who uses my National Insurance Number?

Your National Insurance number is usually needed, and used by:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • your employer
  • Electoral Registration Officers (to check your identity when you register to vote)
  • the Student Loan Company, if you apply for a student loan
  • the Department for Work and Pensions, if you claim state benefits.

Where can I find my National Insurance Number?

You can find your National Insurance number

  • on your payslip
  • on your P60 (this is a form you get at the end of each tax year to show the amount of tax you’ve paid on your salary)
  • on letters about your tax, pension or benefits
  • in the National Insurance section of your personal tax account

You can check your personal tax account online. It let’s you see lots of useful things like your National Insurance Number, how much tax you’re paying, and information about your State Pension. You can also update your address and claim a tax refund. You can sign up on the HMRC website.

You should get your national insurance number sent to you in the post when you turn sixteen. If you don’t receive it, or can’t find it, you can contact HMRC.