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National Insurance

Volume 495: debated on Friday 3 July 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what upgrade is being undertaken to the National Insurance computer system; what assessment he has made of the effect of the upgrade on (a) access to National Insurance records and (b) the time taken to process new claims for retirement pension; and when he expects the upgrade to be completed. (284245)

HMRC has upgraded the National Insurance computer system as part of its continuing process of improvements to its customer service. The new PAYE service will introduce one single record for an individual's PAYE pay and tax details irrespective of the number of PAYE sources of income they have. This will result in more accurate tax codes and also enable HMRC to deal with the vast majority of customer enquiries at one point of contact.

Apart from a brief planned service interruption before the changeover to the New PAYE Service on 29 June 2009, it has not affected access to National Insurance records. All customer enquiries and NI processing are being dealt with as normal. In particular it has not had any impact on claims for the state pension, which is administered by the Department of Work and Pensions.