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Working as exam invigilator and paying class 2 NI

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by stopwatch, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    This was discussed as part of a longer thread in the Summer, but I wanted to raise it again.

    Being 'retired' and being a few years short on my State Pension/NI payments I had asked about the best ways of paying NI/State Pension whilst 'unemployed'/part time/casually employed.

    One things that was raised was the option of paying Class 2 (the cheaper one?) if you were working as an examiner, moderator or exam invigilator.

    I have started working as an invigilator at 2 institutions (1 a school, the other a university) and wanted to ask about the following:
    • Is anybody out there working as an invigilator and paying Class 2 based primarily on this?
    • Are there any criteria such as a minimum number of hours in the year/amount you have to earn in order to do this?
    • How do you go about organising this with HMRC (assuming that it is possible)?
  2. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    stopwatch likes this.
  3. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Sorry, I meant to say voluntarily. So the link seems to confirm that invigilators can pay class 2 voluntarily, thank you. I think that this is what I had seen previously, in the Summer.

    Is there anybody out there who is doing this and can give clarification regarding my other questions (I realise this can probably be found on a HMRC page, but a) I have looked and find it a little confusing and b) It would be quicker to find out from the benefit of someone else's experience)

    Thanks again
  4. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    I have copied the link for the relevant part of the regs. You can ring HMRC and tell them you want to register for Class 2 contributions as an invigilator. I had to quote the regs to the first person I spoke to who then got clarification from their line manager, she then updated my details with relevant dates..


    On the self assessment tax form there is also a box you can tick as an examiner/invigilator. I did this but did not then receive a self assessment tax return as I wasn't self employed. (belt and braces approach). I don't think this was necessary.

    There isn't a minimum earning threshold or number of hours.

    In October I received a bill for Class 2 NI contributions.
    eljefeb90, stopwatch and diddydave like this.
  5. alfredrussell

    alfredrussell New commenter

    Can I ask if Class 2 count towards a full year's contributions?
  6. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Certainly does, best investment ever, 150 pounds a year for 4 pounds ish a week on your state pension.
    Piranha likes this.
  7. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    OK, so I did it today. Called HMRC, very straightforward registering for Class 2 based n employment as invigilator. Can't pay by DD until after the end of this tax year, so will be billed in April, then change to DD.

    Didn't need to register as self employed or fill a self assessment - easy peasy.

    My wife will do the same tomorrow - :)
  8. Braindead101

    Braindead101 New commenter

    It's been 4 or 5 years now, and it covered tutoring not invigilating, but there was an option, when I did it, that if earnings from self-employment were below a certain threshold then an exemption could be given from paying class 2 contributions. It may have been because l was employed and in paye but I definitely didn't need to pay the class 2
  9. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    But I want to pay Class 2 (as opposed to the,ore expensive Class 3) which is why I have done this. I am 3.5 years short of full State Pension with 4 years to go in which to pay it
    eljefeb90 likes this.
  10. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    An update on this and, hopefully, some information which might help people with the Invigilator/Class 2 NI conundrum.

    I have just called (for the third time!) HMRC to discuss paying off the shortfall for 2018/19 and, when discussing the whole invigilator/Class 2 thing, the (very helpful) lady at the other end, went to confirm the situation with a colleague and came back stating that you can only pay Class 2 if you are self employed as an invigilator.

    I explained that, on the whole, the vast majority of invigilators would be on a schools payroll, albeit on a zero hours contract. She said that NI could be paid at Class 1 level provided income was a minimum £500+ pcm, otherwise Class 3 would be due for voluntary payments.

    I further explained that a) all invigilators would be on a payroll and b) A wage of £500+ pcm would not be achievable by any stretch of the imagination, making their ruling for invigilators' Class 2 a nonsense. I further pointed out that a year's Class 3 would amount to a large chunk of a yearly salary for many Invigilators (many of whom are retired/on a low income anyway).

    Although she was sympathetic, she confirmed that, unfortunately, this was the situation/ruling, as confirmed by her colleague.

    I went off the phone feeling quite despondent.

    Then - a miracle!

    30 minutes later, my phone went and it was the same lady. She had been struck by the nonsensical ruling and my insistence that it was unworkable. She had made further checks and confirmed that, yes, you can pay Class 2 even if on a school/university's payroll. Thank goodness for common sense and initiative.

    She confirmed that I am also registered as eligible for Class voluntary payments.

    As others have mentioned, she explained that I will receive a bill for my NI2 payments, around October 2019.

    So, the point is, make sure that you know the rules regards NI payments and insist on being able to pay this.

    I'm going to open a beer to celebrate!
    Dorsetdreams and eljefeb90 like this.
  11. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Yes, you were right and she was wrong. You are on payroll but for NIC purposes classed as self employed - as per the regs above.

    I had exactly the same 'discussion' and the same outcome. Bookmark the regulations.
    eljefeb90 likes this.
  12. Prim

    Prim Occasional commenter

    Although, if you have made 35 years of NI contributions there is no benefit to doing this?
  13. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Yes, there would be because your 35 years will have a lot of contracted out years so you will likely only get the old amount of state pension. Most of us are trying to add a few years post 2015 to get the higher new state pension. That’s why this is important.
    Dorsetdreams likes this.
  14. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Yes, you are correct. I had some incomplete years, prior to 2015 and, when I called HMRC to pay these up, they said there was no point as I already had 30 'pre 2015/old years' NI payments. I am now focusing on completing the 5 years 'post 2015' payments.
    Sundaytrekker likes this.
  15. dancingqueen18

    dancingqueen18 New commenter

    I have found this too. Even though I have paid 35 years contributions, if I continue to pay for another 6 years my state pension will increase by about £1500 a year so well worth it.
    eljefeb90 likes this.
  16. Prim

    Prim Occasional commenter

    Interesting so we have to pay the equivalent of 40 years in contributions? What is the minimum amount you can pay per year to access this?
  17. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    For the current financial year, the rate for voluntary Class 2 contributions is £3 per week. When I retired, I checked my pension online and found that paying class 2 contributions would make a difference to my pension, so I do it from my tutoring income. Doing a bit of tutoring is a great idea as not only can you boost your pension but you can earn up to £1,000 per year tax free!
  18. Prim

    Prim Occasional commenter

    If you go self employed can you pay your 5 years up front? e.g. £12 a month = £144 per year x5 = £720 and be done with it when you retire at 55?
  19. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    In theory, you could pay e.g. 35 years prior to 2015, but this does not satisfy the 35 year requirement as (I believe) that the maximum number of years that can be counted prior to 2015 is only 30. You have to accrue the remaining 5 years from tax years after 2015.
  20. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    You can't pay any tax years 'up front', only 'as you go' or in arrears. If it is Class 2, for eg invigilating, you can only pay in arrears after the tax year is up. (I was told by HMRC that you cannot pay it monthly by Direct Debit - if anybody knows different to this, please let me know).
    Prim likes this.

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