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National Insurance number
frequently asked questions

What is a National Insurance (NI) number?

It’s the number that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) allocates to you, in order for them to track your tax and National Insurance contributions and ensure that you are paying the correct amount. This number is unique to you; you keep the same number throughout your life. If you need to call the DWP or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), they will ask you for your NI number before they are able to assist you.

Do I really need one? Friends have told me that they worked for years without an NI number.

In short, yes. While you can work for some time with a temporary NI number, the practice of using these numbers to claim back tax is no longer allowed. You will need a permanent NI number in order to claim back overpaid tax at the end of the year.

Can I apply for one before I arrive in the UK?

No, the laws and policy around NI numbers require you to be in the UK with a reasonable need and right to apply for one.

What happens if I forget or lose my NI number?

If you lose or can’t remember your NI number, there are a few places you can usually check to find it. It is usually displayed on your pay slips as well as tax documents issued to you by your employer, for example, a P45 or P60 or a tax return from HMRC.

What is the National Insurance contribution?
Is it like tax?

National Insurance contributions are compulsory deductions taken by your employer from your earnings and given to the UK pension scheme. These contributions are separate to regular income tax and are very similar to the compulsory superannuation payments in Australia. The UK pension scheme will use these funds to pay out to retired UK citizens eligible to draw a pension.

Can I apply for a NI number before I start working?

Yes you can, in fact, its better to apply for the number as soon as you possibly can after your UK arrival as most employers will ask for this number for payroll purposes.

We have some exciting news
for all our Kickstart clients...

Kickstart is rebranding to 1st Contact Sable International! For the last 18 months we've been slowly merging with our big brother, Sable International. Over the next few months we're going to complete that merger.

This will in no way affect your relationship with us. We're not going anywhere, as the entire Kickstart team will be in the same roles at Sable International. You'll still get that great Kickstart service, just under a new name.

We'll be keeping you in the loop as we prepare for the next exciting phase in this rebranding.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly.

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