Confusion over missing years

hi all, yesterday i read MSE's great article on topping up missing NI years. 
I checked my NI contribution record as recommended and I'm left in some confusion.

At the top of my record the site states:
You can get your State Pension on 15 December 2039
£203.85 is the most you can get
You cannot improve your forecast any more.
However when I scroll back through my past contributions I found in the year 1993-1994, this message:

You did not make any contributions this year

You can make up the shortfall

Pay a voluntary contribution of £907.40 by 5 April 2024. This shortfall may increase after 5 April 2024.

I'm confused by this on a couple of levels. I understood that the chance to fill gaps in NI payments only applied to the period April 2006 to April 2018, yet here is an offer to fill a gap from 30 years ago.
This, coupled with the first message above saying that I cannot improve my forecast any more leaves me baffled as to whether I should pay the £907.40 or not. If there's no way it will improve my outlook what would be the possible point in doing it?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Comments

  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,672
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    edited 16 November 2023 at 2:17PM
    No, if you cant get anymore paying more is pointless, its there for info only.

    However this would depend if you have actually achieved the minimum yet, if you havent and you plan not to work anymore you may not reach the £203 forecast. What does the rest of the info say?

    Mine says I cant improve it any more but I still have to work 14 more full years to get the stamps, I imagine you are in a similar situation.
  • la531983 said:
    No, if you cant get anymore paying more is pointless, its there for info only.

    However this would depend if you have actually achieved the minimum yet, if you havent and you plan not to work anymore you may not reach the £203 forecast. What does the rest of the info say?

    Mine says I cant improve it any more but I still have to work 14 more full years to get the stamps, I imagine you are in a similar situation.
    interesting, thanks. the info on my recrod says (across two separate pages):

    "You can get your State Pension on 15 December 2039

    Your forecast is £203.85 a week, £886.38 a month, £10,636.60 a year

    Your forecast

    • is not a guarantee and is based on the current law
    • is based on your National Insurance record up to 5 April 2023
    • does not include any increase due to inflation

    £203.85 is the most you can get

    You cannot improve your forecast any more.

    If you’re working you may still need to pay National Insurance contributions until 11 December 2039 as they fund other state benefits and the NHS."


    and then


    "You have:

    • 32 years of full contributions
    • 16 years to contribute before 5 April 2039
    • 3 years when you did not contribute enough"


    (the 3 years where i didnt pay enough is when i was at college and not working full time)

    I'm only 51 and still working btw and don't plan to retire any time soon.

  • phonek
    phonek Posts: 30
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    Forumite
    You only have to work another 3 more years (making full NI contributions in each year) to hit the 35-year target, as you have 32 years built-up already. As you have 16 years left to do that, that's plenty of time, so make NO more extra voluntary NI contributions. 

    (Obviously check to make sure your limit is 35 and not longer. If unknown, call the Future Pension Service and get confirmation: 0800-731-0181, 8-6 m-f). 
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,684
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    phonek said:
    You only have to work another 3 more years (making full NI contributions in each year) to hit the 35-year target, as you have 32 years built-up already. As you have 16 years left to do that, that's plenty of time, so make NO more extra voluntary NI contributions.
    As discussed already above, there's no 35-year target and the OP has already reached their maximum state pension. They don't need to work ANY more years.
    Also, the OP has not yet made any voluntary contributions.
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  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,577
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    edited 17 November 2023 at 11:09PM
    I would be mildly concerned about this as there is obviously an error in your NI record, it should not be possible for this to be showing.
    However when I scroll back through my past contributions I found in the year 1993-1994, this message:

    You did not make any contributions this year

    You can make up the shortfall

    Pay a voluntary contribution of £907.40 by 5 April 2024. This shortfall may increase after 5 April 2024.

    For that year it should state as below
    Year is not full

    You did not make any contributions this year

    Find out more about gaps in your record and how to check them.

    It’s too late to pay for this year. You can usually only pay for the last 6 years.

    Also a gap year should be showing as no more than £824.20 to fill.

    Were you contracted out at any time and if so is there a mention of this near the bottom of the page ?

    "You've been in a contracted-out pension scheme"

    One crossed wire often leads to more.




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