The First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) recently considered a case which examined National Insurance Contributions from as far back as 1971. In this case, the appellant appealed against a decision by HMRC that she had made an election that allowed her to make National Insurance Contributions at a reduced (nil) rate.

The appellant argued that she had made the married woman’s election in 1974. Whilst the issue examined by the FTT strictly related to a challenge to HMRC to prove when an election had been made, in reality the appellant was concerned that she had made insufficient contributions to qualify for a full state pension.

HMRC furnished the FTT with quite detailed information regarding the appellant’s working history which showed her past National Insurance Contributions. The FTT carefully examined both the appellant’s recollection of events as well as evidence held by HMRC.

The FTT ultimately found that based on the evidence provided it was clear that the married woman’s election was made on 13 April 1971 (and not in 1974). There was a secondary argument of whether this election was valid as she was under the age of 18 at that time. Again, the FTT found in favour of HMRC.

The FTT considered the appellant to be an honest woman. However, recalling events from over 40 years ago is difficult and the FTT came to the conclusion that her recollection was imperfect. The appeal was dismissed.