The State Pension Top-Up Scheme


We will not be providing face-to-face advice or training for the foreseeable future. We will contact existing advice clients by phone. Our staff will continue to support our members and can be reached via telephone and email as usual.

We are working hard to move our training, where possible, to digital. For any queries, please contact our training team at [email protected]

We can only provide advice to people living in Northern Ireland. 

Helpline contact details:

Welfare Changes ring 0808 802 0020 or email [email protected]
Tax & Benefits ring 0800 988 2377 or email [email protected]
Business Debt ring 0800 083 8018 or email [email protected]
Debt Action ring 0800 028 1881 or email [email protected]
EU Settlement Scheme ring 0800 138 6545 or email [email protected]
For Historical Institutional Abuse advice and support call 02890 645919 email [email protected]


The State Pension Top-Up Scheme closed on 5 April 2017.

If you are not receiving a full Basic Pension, then paying voluntary NI Contributions (NICs) could help improve your entitlement.

Paying voluntary National Insurance Contributions (NICs) can bring up the number of qualifying years, leading to a higher pension. The State Pension Top-Up Scheme was open until 5 April 2017 for all pensioners who reached State Pension age before the new State Pension was introduced on 6 April 2016. Voluntary Class 3A contributions gives pensioners an option to top up their pension by up to £25 a week in a way that protects them from inflation and offers protection to surviving spouses. You must be entitled to the basic State Pension or additional State Pension before 6 April 2016. You are:

  • a man born before 6 April 1951
  • a woman born before 6 April 1953

Voluntary Class 3A contributions gives pensioners an option to top up their pension by up to £25 a week.  You must pay a lump sum to HMRC to avail of this increase.  The lump sum varies according to you age and how much you wish to add to your pension.