Your National Insurance Number is one of those things in life that you receive at the age of 16 and then probably don’t think about ever again. With that said, it’s actually a very important piece of information that you need to take care of. So, what exactly is this number used for? Why is it so important?
Here we’ll take a look at what your National Insurance number is used for, how, when, and where you can get it from, and what to do if you have lost your National Insurance number.
What is a UK National Insurance Number?
Here in the UK, people have what is called a National Insurance (NI) number. This “number” is actually made up of a series of numbers and letters. No two NI numbers are alike. The reason this number exists is to ensure that your tax and NI contributions are recorded correctly on your file. To find out more information regarding the purpose of your NI number click here.
You will find your number on any official letters about your benefits, pension, or taxes; on your P60; on your payslip; and in the section titled National Insurance on your personal tax account.
What Organisations/Branches Are Using Your Number?
There are actually a number of bodies that require your NI Number, such as your employer, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Electoral Registration Officers, your local council, your ISA (individual savings account) provider, student loan company, the DWP, your pension provider, and more.
How to Get a National Insurance Number
16-year-olds born in the UK are automatically allocated an NI number. In other cases, you can apply for it through the government. You will be able to apply for one once you are 16 years of age. If you are moving to the UK, you can apply for one once you have arrived. This will allow you to study and/or work in the UK.
What to Do If You Lose Your National Insurance Number
Because this number is unique to you, you want to be sure you keep a record of it somewhere safe. You can’t apply for a new one, but you can recover an old one.
Even when you are careful, mishaps can still happen, and you can still end up forgetting what yours is. If you have lost your NI number, it’s important you take steps to find out what it is. You can use the Lost NI number website to help you recover your National Insurance number or change your personal details.
An Important Piece of Information
While your National Insurance number may not seem like an especially important piece of information, it’s very important. Because it is unique to you, it’s important to keep it stored in a safe place and if you do end up losing it, check official paperwork such as old pay slips or HMRC letters. If that doesn’t work, fill out form CA5403 from HMRC. HMRC won’t divulge your personal National insurance number over the telephone, but it shouldn’t take long to recover it.