HMRC - great experience

Well I’m not sure about how others view HMRC, but today, despite a 40 minute on hold connection time, I had fantastic service from one of their advisors this morning.

Basically it all involved ensuring my personal tax allowance was implemented against my pension and my salary tax changed to BRX instead of my personal allowance being split between the two. I’ve personally never been able to understand why when folks like me who have a final salary pension, the allowance is then often split between that and a work salary. There’s clearly a reason why that happens, but to me, it just unnecessarily complicates matters.

So, objective achieved and as a bonus, I can see the change immediately via the HMRC app on my phone.

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I’ve had occasion, (occasionally), to ring HMRC. Despite being filled with dread, the experience from the outset has been polite, friendly and informative.

Unexpected, but very welcome.


I’ve also found HMRC to be very helpful whenever I’ve needed assistance.

If only the same could be said of the DWP…

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I had a similar issue but, in my case, the personal allowance had been split between my two private pensions! HMRC answered after around 20 minutes and were very polite and efficient. When asked why the personal allowance had been split in this way, the answer was “the computer does that sometimes”. They were quite happy to apply the personal allowance against the larger pension and set the smaller one to BR.

This was last year and they are taking around twice as long to answer at the moment, but are still very good to deal with once you’re talking to somebody.

It will all change again when I start drawing the state pension (another 6 years) because they pay that gross and what’s left of your personal allowance is then applied to the rest of your income.


Copy that. I’ve been calling the Future Pensions Hotline five or six times a week since March and have yet to speak to anyone.

I got through after about 10 minutes one day last week mid-morning.

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Is the Future Pensions hotline associated with the State Pension?

I only ask because if you have the HMRC app on your Smart device, you can view what your pension forecast is there. I can see every penny I’ve paid in NI contributions since 1984 and exactly what my State pension will be. As I was contracted out of SERPs for a large portion of my working career, I’ve had to work several more years to qualify for the full weekly amount once I’m old enough to claim it!

I need to contribute 2 more years to get the full amount but decided that it’s easier just to pay the voluntary contributions rather than get off my backside and work :slight_smile:

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Fair play to you Sir! However, on top of my very generous pension, I’m getting a reasonably good wage as well, and I do like to travel the world :earth_africa:

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It is.

I can get that far online, but I can’t find a way to make additional voluntary contributions, so have to call the hotline.

Me too (4 years), I just can’t find a way to make the payment.

You can make voluntary contributions when you go to view your records of NIC

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This doesn’t work for me. I can see that there are shortfalls, and there’s a link to “Find out more about voluntary contributions,” but that link doesn’t take me to a page where I can pay.

I took early retirement partly due to having built up a decent pension but mainly because of ill-health, so it’s more of a case of not having the energy to do paid work any longer. If I was fitter I’d most likely try and get part-time work, to be honest.

There isn’t a page where you can pay, unfortunately. You have to call HMRC and have them invoice you, basically. Either that or there’s a form you can download and complete to set up a direct debit.

I went through the first route so they sent me a letter with the amount to pay and their bank details and have said they’ll do the same each tax year until I’ve fully contributed.

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I’ll keep trying; switching focus to mornings, as you previously suggested, thanks.

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That was the Future Pensions line, although HMRC will probably advise you to call them to confirm that paying voluntary contributions will be beneficial to you.

Latest update for HMRC app on iOS allows you to save your NI to Apple Wallet.

You mean you don’t know your Insurance Number ? :blush:

It is very rarely used. To my surprise I know the long number for one of my cards, plus expiry and CVV.

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From a personal perspective, I memorised my National Insurance number from the day it was issued to me back in 1984. I’ve had to quote it many tens of times throughout my life, either for job changes or when contacting my pension provider. Everyone should be able to spin off their NI number without even thinking about it. Then again, their are folks who don’t even know their vehicle index number despite having owned the same car for years :laughing: