National Insurance Information
National insurance is something that virtually everyone, but not everybody, in full time employment will pay.
Although most think that it applies to any level of income at all, there is actually a modest threshold in place so if you earn really little, then you may not actually have to pay national insurance.
Please note: the following information is out of date, pending update: for all the up-to-date National Insurance rates, please visit http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rates/nic.htm
As at April 2006, if you earn less than £97 per week before tax (known as your gross income) then you will not actually have to pay any national insurance.
However most people earn well above this level - after all £97 a week turns out to be equivalent to a gross salary of £5,044 - not many people could live on that!
Gross earnings that are between £97 and £645 a week incur national insurance taxation at the rate of 11%. This, of course, is paid on top of any income tax that you pay which for most will be at a higher percentage for the majority of their income at either 22% or 40% (see Income Tax Information).
For those that earn over £645 per week, gross, which works out at around £33,540 a year, then you will be delighted to know that income above that level has an extra 1% of national insurance charged, making the total rate at 12%.
This means that for high earners, a large percentage of their salary is gone in taxation - in fact the taxman takes more than they get of income above the thresholds, as the income tax will be 40% and the NI 12%, meaning 52% for the government and 48% for you!