Martin Lewis Money Show reveals how anyone under 73 could turn £800 into £5,400

MARTIN Lewis has revealed how anyone under 74 could turn £800 into £5,400.

Speaking on the “Summer Special” edition of the Martin Lewis Money Show, the founder of explained how millions could boost their State Pension.

Martin Lewis has urged millions to check their State Pension forecast


Martin Lewis has urged millions to check their State Pension forecastCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

Martin said: “This is a serious amount of cash. I’m going to take you through it step-by-step.

“For some people you can do this for free. But I need to talk you through it because there is a deadline coming.”

He said: “For each £800 or less you pay to top-up your pension, you could gain £5,400 or more.

“It’s all about the new State Pension, which came in in 2016. So that is for men born after April 5, 1951, and women born after April 5, 1953.

“To get the full State Pension, you need to have 35(ish) qualifying National Insurance years.

Everyone gets National Insurance years if they’re in work and earning over £123 a week to get them.

You also get National Insurance credits if you’re looking after children or claim certain benefits.

“But millions of people are missing National Insurance years.”

“You might have spent years abroad, had years of low income or a career break,” he added.

Martin said: “What my clarion call today is about – is check now if you can buy missing years.

“Or even better – if you’re due free years.

“The reason I’m doing this now is the transitional arrangements end this tax year – April 5, 2025.

“Until then, you can buy back missing years to 2006. After the transitional arrangements end, you can only buy back six years.

“So from April 6, next year, you can only buy back 20 2019.

“There are 13 missing years that are going to close this year.”

What is National Insurance?

NATIONAL Insurance is a tax on your earnings, or profits if you’re self-employed.

These contributions make you eligible for things like the state pension and certain benefits.

These contributions make you eligible for things like the state pension and certain benefits.

You’ll usually pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs) when you’re over the age of 16 and earning a certain amount.

For example, if you earn £1,000 a week, you pay nothing on the first £242.

Earn over that and you pay 10% on the next £725 – so £72.50. Then you pay 2%o on the rest, so £33, which works out as 66p.

For the self-employed rates are slightly different.

You can also get something known as National Insurance in some circumstances when you’re not working, for example when you have kids and claim certain benefits.

NICs are usually taken automatically by your employer and paid to HMRC, so you don’t need to do anything.

You can see how much NICs you pay on your wage slip.

Anyone working for themselves usually has to pay NICs themselves when completing a self-assessment tax return.


If you think you’re missing National Insurance years, the first thing to do is check you State Pension forecast.

You can check this as well as the State Pension age through the government’s new ‘Check your State Pension’ tool online at

The tool is also available through the HMRC app, which you can download free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

You’ll need to log in using your Personal Tax Account login details. If you don’t already have an online HMRC account, you can register at

It shows you how much your state pension could increase by and what NI years you’ll need to buy to achieve this.

You’ll then be able to pay for these missing years securely online, without having to call up separately.

You’ll need to pay for these in full – you can’t pay in instalments.

You can’t use the online service if you’re already getting your State Pension.

Instead, you’ll need to call the Pension Service on 0800 731 0469.

However, before you commit to buying new National Insurance years it’s vital you check whether you were entitled to free credits at any point.


Before making a voluntary contribution, it is important to check if the gaps in your contributions can be filled with free NI credits.

Thousands are thought to be missing out on these NI Credits, leaving them worse off in retirement.

For example, those on certain benefits should qualify for Class 1 credits.

This includes parents with active claims for child benefit.

You can check the full list of people eligible to claim credits by visiting

It explains the circumstances where you’ll need to claim and when you’ll get it automatically.


In some cases, buying back missing years can be really valuable.

But earning back the years isn’t free, so your voluntary contributions come at a price.

If you fill gaps between 2006/07 and 2015/16, you’ll pay the 2022/23 rates for contributions.

It is worth £15.85 a week, which means it costs £824.20 to buy one year of contributions.

As the state pension was £185.15 per week in 2022/23, this boost would add £5.29 per week or around £275 per year. 

Although you’d have to pay £8,242 (10 lots of £824.20), the annual state pension boost would be around £2,750.

Someone who was retired for 20 years would get back around £55,000 in total (before tax).

Anyone under 73 can make voluntary pension contributions, as it’s assumed everyone under this age will claim the new state pension.

If you’re below the state pension age, you can check your state pension forecast by visiting to determine if you’ll benefit from paying voluntary contributions.

You can also contact the Future Pension Centre by calling 0800 731 0175.

If you’ve reached state pension age, contact the Pension Service to find out if you’ll benefit from voluntary contributions.

You can contact this service in several different ways by visiting

You can usually pay voluntary contributions for the past six years.

The deadline is April 5 each year.

For example, you have until April 5, 2030, to compensate for gaps in the tax year 2023 to 2024.

The deadline has been extended for making voluntary contributions for the tax years 2016 to 2017 or 2017 to 2018.

ou now have until April 5, 2025, to pay.

Find out how to pay for your contributions by visiting

How does the State Pension work?

AT the moment the current State Pension is paid to both men and women from age 66 – but it’s due to rise to 67 by 2028 and 68 by 2046.

The state pension is a recurring payment from the government most Brits start getting when they reach State Pension age.

But not everyone gets the same amount, and you are awarded depending on your National Insurance record.

For most pensioners, it forms only part of their retirement income, as they could have other pots from a workplace pension, earning and savings. 

The new state pension is based on people’s National Insurance records.

Workers must have 35 qualifying years of National Insurance to get the maximum amount of the new state pension.

You earn National Insurance qualifying years through work, or by getting credits, for instance when you are looking after children and claiming child benefit.

If you have gaps, you can top up your record by paying in voluntary National Insurance contributions. 

To get the old, full basic state pension, you will need 30 years of contributions or credits. 

You will need at least 10 years on your NI record to get any state pension. 


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