The government has just extended the deadline to April 2025 for people to top up their National Insurance contributions. For many people approaching retirement, especially women, it offers a fantastic opportunity for them to increase their state pension by thousands of pounds by paying in only a few extra hundred. As you can imagine, the demand is huge, and has jammed the government pensions hotline. Money Clinic host Claer Barrett speaks to Sir Steve Webb, the former pensions minister and now a partner at consultancy Lane Clark & Peacock. He fields questions from FT readers and listeners about who should apply (and who should not), how to apply, and what kind of a deal to expect.

The episode features a clip from the Martin Lewis Podcast on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Want more?

Deadline to plug UK state pension gap extended until April 2025

Find out more about voluntary National Insurance contributions

See your State Pension forecast and find any gaps in your National Insurance record

Check your State Pension age

If you live or plan to retire abroad, click here for the the UK’s International Pension Centre

If you would like to talk to Claer on a future episode, please email the Money Clinic team at with a short description of your problem, and how you would like us to help.

Say hello on social media: you can follow Claer on Twitter and Instagram @Claerb, and Claer’s guest Sir Steve Webb is @stevewebb1

Presented by Claer Barrett. Produced by Laurence Knight. Our executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music.

Read a transcript of this episode on

View our accessibility guide.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2023. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this audio


Comments have not been enabled for this article.