PLEASE NOTE: The charity TaxAid advises only those people on low incomes whose problems cannot be resolved with HMRC.

Married Women Paying Reduced Rate National Insurance Contributions

National insurance for employees and employers

Some married women and widows pay a reduced rate of class 1 National Insurance as employees (of 5.85% in 2017/18 and 2016/17, rather than the full rate of 12%) between the Primary Threshold and the Upper Earnings Limit. The election is also effective for class 2 National Insurance contributions.

No new elections are permitted. It only affects older women as the last date to make the election was 11 May 1977.

Lost benefit rights

If you have opted in to the reduced rate of National Insurance your state pension will be reduced and you won’y be able to claim some benefits.


You may call the charity Tax Help for Older People on 01308 488066 or 0845 6013321 for advice on the reduced rate of National Insurance.

More detailed guidance on the married women’s reduced rate is also available on the website: Reduced Rate National Insurance for Married Women.