YOUR National Insurance (NI) number is a series of numbers and letters that is completely unique to you.
Here’s everything you need to know when you lose yours:
What is a National Insurance number?
According to the government website, you have a National Insurance number to make sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name only.
It’s made up of letters and numbers and never changes throughout your life.
Some companies and government bodies rely on this number to ensure that you pay the right taxes and your work status in the UK.
The companies who use your NI number are:
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- your employer
- the Department for Work and Pensions (which includes Jobcentre Plus and the Pension, Disability and Carers Service)
- your local council, if you claim Housing Benefit
- Electoral Registration Officers
- the Student Loan Company, if you apply for a student loan
- your pension provider if you have a personal or stakeholder pension
- your Individual Savings Account (ISA) provider, if you open an ISA
How to find my National Insurance number
There are a number of ways to recover a lost National Insurance number for when you need it.
If you have a personal tax account, you can sign in to view your National Insurance number and print a letter from HMRC with your National Insurance number on it.
You may also be able to find it on your payslip, a P60, or sometimes letters you received about tax, pensions or benefits.
If you’re still stuck and cannot find your NI number, you can fill in form CA5403 which can be found on the government website.
You can also contact the National Insurance numbers helpline and answer some questions and HMRC will then post your number to you.
It will usually arrive within 15 working days.
What happens if I lose my National Insurace number?
In the past, National Insurance numbers were given out on small, debit card size pieces of plastic.
However, HMRC no longer sends out National Insurance cards, and your NI number is given to you electronically.
This means you might lose track of your number, but your number will never be inaccessible to you.
Keep a separate note of your details in a private place to ensure you don’t lose track of this important identifier.