It is possible in certain circumstances to pay contributions voluntarily to protect entitlement to some state benefits.
Most practitioners automatically associate the term ‘voluntary contributions’ with Class 3. In fact, it is sometimes possible to pay Class 2 contributions voluntarily, which both costs much less and provides much more benefit cover. The Class 2 alternative is also described below, with further detail at ¶1017-150. Those self-employed people that have not been paying Class 2 NICs consistently should also review their NIC record for the past six years and if there are gaps, they could consider voluntarily paying backdated Class 2 NICs for those years.