National insurance contributions

National insurance contributions and rates in 2017/18


Employee   Employer  
Earnings per week   Earnings per week  
Up to £113                     Nil* Up to £157                        0%
From £113.01 to £157                   0% Over £157                       13.8%*
From £157.01 to £866  12% Over state retirement age 13.8%
Over £866                        2%   
Over state retirement age      0%                                       

*0% for employees under 21 and apprentices under 25 on earnings up to £866 per week.

Employment allowance

An employer can claim employment allowance of £3,000. Only 1 claim may be made by the employer.

*Entitlement to contribution-based benefits retained for earnings between £113 and £157 per week

**The rate is 0% in relation to employees under 21 and apprentices under 25 on earnings up to £866 per week

***Per employer, per year. 1 claim only for companies in a group or under common control. Not available if the only paid employee is a director.

Class 1A (on relevant benefits) 13.8%
Class 1B (on PAYE settlement arrangement) 13.8%  
Class 2 (self employed) £2.85 per week
Class 2 contributions - share fishermen £3.50 per week
Class 2 contributions - volunteer development workers £5.65 per week
Small profits threshold £6,025 per annum
Contributions cease at state retirement age  
Class 3 (voluntary) £14.25 per week
Class 4* (Self employed on profits)  
£8,164 to £45,000 9%
Above £45,000 2%
*Exemption applies if state retirement age was reached by 6 April 2017.
Maximum contributions  
Class 1 £4,424.16  + 2% of earnings over £45,000  pa.
Class 2 and Class 4 £3,463.44  + 2% of profits over £45,000  pa.


  1. For children under 16, and employees over state pension age there are no national insurance contributions payable, but employers' contributions remain payable.
  2. No employers national insurance contributions are payable for those under 21, or 25 for an apprentice.

2018 and beyond

Class 2 national insurance contributions will be abolished from April 2018.

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SJD Accountancy

SJD Accountancy are the UK's largest specialist provider of fixed fee, Limited company accountancy services to contractors; we've been acting for contractors across the UK since 1992 and have more than 15,000 clients.

We are the only national specialist firm of contractor accountants with offices nationwide. SJD Accountancy has more qualified staff than any other firm in our market with qualifications from the following major tax and accountancy bodies - ATT, AAT, CTA, ACCA, CA, ACA and FCCA.

  • Unlimited face to face meetings. This is a unique service only SJD Accountancy offers - unlimited face to face meetings across the UK - tax is complicated and sometimes only a meeting will do.
  • UK's largest contractor accountants with more qualified staff. No call centres, no outsourcing, no automated call handling. Simply telephone, email or meet your own dedicated accountant face to face.
  • Our Customer Promise. Respond to any question sent to your accountant or any dedicated department within 24 hours.  If we need more time, we will update you as soon as we can and we promise to keep you informed of the progress we are making in answering your question.
  • Outstanding reputation. We have won more awards for customer service and accountancy excellence than any other firm in our market, including: Best Accountant for Contractors, Accountant of the Year and Best Professional Service Team to name just a few.
  • All inclusive low cost fixed fee accountancy package which includes completion of accounts*, payroll bureau, dividends and corporation tax computations, personal taxation, free bookkeeping software, your own dedicated accountant* and all company returns for a fixed fee starting from £120 plus VAT per month. Check our packages for more detail.

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or email: Our new business team is open Monday to Thursday (8am to 8pm), Friday (8am to 7pm) and Saturday (10am to 4pm)

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*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of SJD for one year or have made 12 monthly payments. All accountants are part or fully qualified.