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National Insurance Credits – Overseas Assignments

Entitlement to Apply for Class 1 National Insurance Credits

When employed in the UK, all workers are expected to pay National Insurance (NI) contributions, which are usually deducted from salary in the same way as income tax. Qualification for a full basic State Pension depends on year of birth: men born after 1945 and women born after 1950 will both require 30 qualifying years . Entitlement to a full basic State Pension and other benefits could be affected if there are gaps in your NI contributions record.

DWP recognises that when a spouse or partner accompanies their SP on an overseas assignment, they may be unable to work in country and therefore will not pay UK NI contributions. MoD has therefore worked with the DWP to ensure that spouses and civil partners of SP are not disadvantaged by accompanied service overseas and will be treated as having met the criteria for each qualifying year of NI contributions if they apply to the DWP as a Service spouse/civil partner.

Spouses and civil partners are eligible to apply for and be awarded Class 1 NI credits for periods of accompanied service overseas. These Class 1 NI credits are the highest level of credits available and contribute to entitlement to the basic State Pension and other benefits including: Maternity Allowance; Jobseeker’s Allowance; and Employment and Support Allowance.

Applying for Class 1 National Insurance Credits

How to apply. To obtain NI Credits for any period of time spent overseas accompanying a Service person, a spouse/civil partner must apply to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) using the form MODCA1. The form is only available on-line and must be printed and completed in hard-copy. Once completed the form must be signed and stamped by WO USA Support Group (Tidewater) to validate the application. More information is available at the National Insurance Credits page on the Gov.UK website.

When to apply. Applications for NI Credits should be submitted within the tax year (running 6 Apr to 5 Apr) and enables the spouse or civil partner to be awarded National Insurance credits for the period claimed. Where personnel have undertaken back to back overseas assignments, a separate claim for each location is required.