Why do I have to include all my employees’ National Insurance (NI) numbers when submitting data?

When you’re submitting your data, you must include your employees’ NI numbers.

When an employee gives you their NI number, you’re required by law to provide us with this within 6 weeks of you receiving it if you haven’t provided it to us at outset. We also use NI numbers to help your employees trace and access their savings in the future.

Without a NI Number, we’re unable to claim tax relief

If you don’t have an employee’s NI number, then under HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) rules, if you’re deducting contributions from their pay after tax is taken (net tax basis), we won’t be able to claim tax relief from HMRC for them.

This could also result in your employees’ pension contributions being less than the minimum legal requirement. Under auto-enrolment rules, employers have a duty to ensure minimum contributions are paid.

For example, if one of your workers is making the minimum contribution of 5% (using the qualifying earnings basis) and they’re entitled to tax relief, you’d deduct 4% contribution from their pay and send it to us. We’d then claim 1% from HMRC as tax relief on the employee’s behalf. The total employee contribution would be 5%.

Important – if you don’t have the employee’s NI number, you have a duty to ensure that minimum contributions are paid. So, to comply with the rules, you’ll need to update your payroll to deduct and send us a 5% employee contribution (instead of 4%).

Deducting contributions before tax? (gross tax basis)

If NI numbers are missing but your account is set up on the gross tax basis, this will not affect the tax relief that they automatically get on their pension contributions. However, you’re still required by law to provide all employees’ NI numbers.

What happens if my employees can’t find their NI numbers?

If an employee doesn’t know if they have a NI number or has lost their NI number, they can find information about how to trace this on the government’s website. They can also use this link to apply for a NI number.

How do I add my employees’ NI numbers?

Visit our step-by-step guide on how to check for missing NI numbers and add these details.

If we assess your pension contributions for you

If you’re using The People’s Pension to assess your employees, we calculate pension contributions on the basis that you’ve provided a NI number for all employees. If you don’t include this information, your employees’ contributions won’t get topped up with tax relief from HMRC. This could mean that their contributions are less than the minimum legal requirement. You should update your payroll software to deduct and send us 5% employee contribution (instead of 4%) for any employees without NI numbers. This assumes that you’re using the qualifying earnings basis but you may be using an alternative method.

What if my employee doesn’t have an NI number?

Employees can visit the government website to apply for an NI number.

If you’re employing a citizen of a country outside the UK who isn’t resident in the UK, they may not have an NI number, but could still be entitled to tax relief. If this applies, either you or your employee or their employer will need to provide a statement to us giving reasons why they don’t have an NI number.

Your employee will need to notify us in writing within 30 days of a change in their circumstances after we’ve received this statement.

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