National Insurance Numbers


A

Alasdair

For many years, I have tried to work out or otherwise find out the
structure of the UK National Insurance Number scheme and what the
various elements mean.

However, every time I ask, I come up against a brick wall. It must be
the most closely guarded state secret in the UK! Why?

My NI number consists of two letters of the alphabet followed by 6
numbers (divided into 3 pairs) followed by a single letter. What do
these letters and numbers signify?

I have been told that it is possible to work out someone's date of
birth from their NI number but how's it done? What other personal
information is encrypted in the NI number?

We all know that it is possible to find someone's date of birth from
the driver number on the driving licence but what is so special about
the NI number that its meaning is all hush-hush?
 
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M

mart2306

For many years, I have tried to work out or otherwise find out the
structure of the UK National Insurance Number scheme and what the
various elements mean.

However, every time I ask, I come up against a brick wall.  It must be
the most closely guarded state secret in the UK! Why?

My NI number consists of two letters of the alphabet followed by 6
numbers (divided into 3 pairs) followed by a single letter.  What do
these letters and numbers signify?

I have been told that it is possible to work out someone's date of
birth from their NI number but how's it done?  What other personal
information is encrypted in the NI number?

We all know that it is possible to find someone's date of birth from
the driver number on the driving licence but what is so special about
the NI number that its meaning is all hush-hush?
Sure its hush-hush? Could be merely people don't know what
significance the numbers have because they don't have any?
Whats the significance of your postcode? Merely unique area. Whats the
significance of your house number? Merely identifies your house on the
street.


Martin <><
 
M

Mike

Sure its hush-hush? Could be merely people don't know what
significance the numbers have because they don't have any?
Whats the significance of your postcode? Merely unique area. Whats the
significance of your house number? Merely identifies your house on the
street.


Martin <><
No you can't work out a DOB.

It's complex, when the NI scheme was set-up most adults were given NINos
and the first two digits do equate to a group of years (e.g. DOB
1916-19) but these do overlap. Most NINOs used today were issued when a
child for whom Child Ben was paid turned 16. For numbers issued from
the mid 60s the year of ISSUE can be approximated for the most part this
will be the persons 16th birthday. All my school friends and work
colleagues (except immigrants) share the same two letters as me. It
gets hazier prior to the 60s.

When CHB is awarded a Child Reference Number is generated only used by
HMRC for CHB+tax credits, this becomes a NINo just before the childs
16th birthday.

Since the 80s(?) certain letter combinations were issued via
applications rather than generated via CHB accounts, mostly foreign
nationals working in the UK, immigrants, asylum seekers etc. The letter
combinations and numbers give a clue to when they were issued but it is
sequential and when the hit xx999999 they started another letter
combination.

The numbers in the middle are just sequentially generated and the letter
is pretty meaningless, it did mean something but there will be no two
NINos the same except for the letter and I believe the letter is
entirely random now.

I have a memo issued decades ago which shows which letter combos relate
to years but that is quite literally secret and those that were issued
it were told never to copy or pass it on without permission. In this
day and age the information is pretty useless though.

Mike
 
A

Alasdair

No you can't work out a DOB.

It's complex, when the NI scheme was set-up most adults were given NINos
and the first two digits do equate to a group of years (e.g. DOB
1916-19) but these do overlap. Most NINOs used today were issued when a
child for whom Child Ben was paid turned 16. For numbers issued from
the mid 60s the year of ISSUE can be approximated for the most part this
will be the persons 16th birthday. All my school friends and work
colleagues (except immigrants) share the same two letters as me. It
gets hazier prior to the 60s.

When CHB is awarded a Child Reference Number is generated only used by
HMRC for CHB+tax credits, this becomes a NINo just before the childs
16th birthday.

Since the 80s(?) certain letter combinations were issued via
applications rather than generated via CHB accounts, mostly foreign
nationals working in the UK, immigrants, asylum seekers etc. The letter
combinations and numbers give a clue to when they were issued but it is
sequential and when the hit xx999999 they started another letter
combination.

The numbers in the middle are just sequentially generated and the letter
is pretty meaningless, it did mean something but there will be no two
NINos the same except for the letter and I believe the letter is
entirely random now.

I have a memo issued decades ago which shows which letter combos relate
to years but that is quite literally secret and those that were issued
it were told never to copy or pass it on without permission. In this
day and age the information is pretty useless though.

Mike

Thanks for that.

Do you think if I made a Freedom of Information request to the DWP,
they would tell me now which letter combos related to years or is it
still top secret or has that info been declassified?

I had been told, but am unsure of the accuracy, that the final letter
indicated the quarter in which the person either was born or joined
the scheme. For example, suffix A referred to Quarter 1 i.e. January
to March, B referred to Quarter 2 i.e. April to June and so on.

I had also been told, but again, am unsure of the accuracy, that with
regard to people who were in work when the scheme was introduced in
1948, the first two letters referred to the friendly society of which
they were members up to July '48. For example, for members of the
Independent Order of Rechabites, the first two letters were RE.
 
R

Robbie

Alasdair said:
Thanks for that.

Do you think if I made a Freedom of Information request to the DWP,
they would tell me now which letter combos related to years or is it
still top secret or has that info been declassified?

I had been told, but am unsure of the accuracy, that the final letter
indicated the quarter in which the person either was born or joined
the scheme. For example, suffix A referred to Quarter 1 i.e. January
to March, B referred to Quarter 2 i.e. April to June and so on.

I had also been told, but again, am unsure of the accuracy, that with
regard to people who were in work when the scheme was introduced in
1948, the first two letters referred to the friendly society of which
they were members up to July '48. For example, for members of the
Independent Order of Rechabites, the first two letters were RE.
The final letter used to indicate to the employer when NI returns had to
be sent in for an individual, A was Jan to Mar, B Apr to Jun, C July to
Sept and D Oct to Dec. This was obviously back in the days when
everything was done clerically and probably did somehow relate to the
quarter in which the person was born, or at least was probably derived
from that and used as the basis on which to allocate the period in which
an employer would submit NI returns for an individual.

Since at least the 70s and perhaps before that the need for that final
letter has vanished since companies began to submit all returns after
the end of the tax year in April. As Mike says I think it is now just
allocated randomly, like the numerical part of the NI number always was.

The allocation of the first two letters was, as you have indicated,
partly based on membership of Friendly Societies since they played an
important part in helping set up the NI (clerical) database in 1948.
However many, if not most, NI numbers were allocated by year of birth
with the lucky recipients of "AA" as the first two letters apparently
being those born in or around 1930, those who would have been 18 in
1948. Quite why they started with those born in 1930 I don't know. Like
Mike I too used to have a list of the first two NI letters combo and the
years to which people with those letters were likely to be born. But
that list began to be less useful from about 1990 onwards when the DSS
began to issue NI numbers to (mainly female) pensioners who had never
been issued with an NI number and then even more when the concept of
Child Reference Numbers began in the early 90s, starting with child DLA
recipients and then children included on a Child Benefit claim.
 
M

Mike

Alasdair said:
Thanks for that.

Do you think if I made a Freedom of Information request to the DWP,
they would tell me now which letter combos related to years or is it
still top secret or has that info been declassified?
It'll probably be refused, some security issues but also confidentiality
if people were aware that NINos were issued recently they might make
assumptions and or discriminate.
I had been told, but am unsure of the accuracy, that the final letter
indicated the quarter in which the person either was born or joined
the scheme. For example, suffix A referred to Quarter 1 i.e. January
to March, B referred to Quarter 2 i.e. April to June and so on.
May have done but I've seen sequentially allocated NINos issued the same
day with different suffixes so not recently. I have a school frind bor
in the same month with a different suffix.
I had also been told, but again, am unsure of the accuracy, that with
regard to people who were in work when the scheme was introduced in
1948, the first two letters referred to the friendly society of which
they were members up to July '48. For example, for members of the
Independent Order of Rechabites, the first two letters were RE.
Might do but not everyone was friendly!
 
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M

Mike

Robbie said:
The final letter used to indicate to the employer when NI returns had to
be sent in for an individual, A was Jan to Mar, B Apr to Jun, C July to
Sept and D Oct to Dec. This was obviously back in the days when
everything was done clerically and probably did somehow relate to the
quarter in which the person was born, or at least was probably derived
from that and used as the basis on which to allocate the period in which
an employer would submit NI returns for an individual.

Since at least the 70s and perhaps before that the need for that final
letter has vanished since companies began to submit all returns after
the end of the tax year in April. As Mike says I think it is now just
allocated randomly, like the numerical part of the NI number always was.

The allocation of the first two letters was, as you have indicated,
partly based on membership of Friendly Societies since they played an
important part in helping set up the NI (clerical) database in 1948.
However many, if not most, NI numbers were allocated by year of birth
with the lucky recipients of "AA" as the first two letters apparently
being those born in or around 1930, those who would have been 18 in
1948. Quite why they started with those born in 1930 I don't know. Like
Mike I too used to have a list of the first two NI letters combo and the
years to which people with those letters were likely to be born. But
that list began to be less useful from about 1990 onwards when the DSS
began to issue NI numbers to (mainly female) pensioners who had never
been issued with an NI number and then even more when the concept of
Child Reference Numbers began in the early 90s, starting with child DLA
recipients and then children included on a Child Benefit claim.
More organised since the late 90s with application inspired NINOs having
specific suffixes.

Mike
 
M

mart2306

More organised since the late 90s with application inspired NINOs having
specific suffixes.

Mike- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -
Also since the early 90s likely all those who had the same NI have
been tracked down and reallocated, usually when claiming benefit or
pension. Pretty rare even then - only ever saw it a handful of times
over the course of a few years.

Martin <><
 
M

Mike

Also since the early 90s likely all those who had the same NI have
been tracked down and reallocated, usually when claiming benefit or
pension. Pretty rare even then - only ever saw it a handful of times
over the course of a few years.

Martin <><
People USED the same NI but in y experience it was only allocated to one
person. The inland revenue used to often give out wrong NINos when
someone asked them what theirs was, they used to look and say "oh here
you are Mr John Smith .....". There were also ID theft cases.

Mike
 
D

dickjones

<snip>
The letter at the end is the month you were born with the year divided
by four.
A= Jan, Feb, March.
B= April, May June, etc.
 
M

mart2306

<snip>
The letter at the end is the month you were born with the year divided
by four.
A= Jan, Feb, March.
B= April, May June, etc.
Ah, that explains why mine ends in D then. My birthday is in February.
My wife's NI number ends in a C, her was born in April.

Martin <><
 
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H

Harry Stottle

Ah, that explains why mine ends in D then. My birthday is in February.
My wife's NI number ends in a C, her was born in April.
But mine ends in A, and I was not born in Jan, Feb, March.
 
M

Mike

<snip>
The letter at the end is the month you were born with the year divided
by four.
A= Jan, Feb, March.
B= April, May June, etc.
It may have done when the scheme was created but it is now a meaningless
random character.

I have a school friend born in the same year and month with a different
suffix.

Mike
 
D

dickjones

On Thu, 17 Sep 2009 18:29:41 +0100, Mike

<snip>
Mine's right: July, c!
 
F

fido

On Thu, 17 Sep 2009 18:29:41 +0100, Mike


<snip>
Mine's right: July, c!
In the days when NI stamps had to be stuck to cards, full cards had be
sent in and replaced with new blank cards. Obviously exchanging
everybody's cards once a year would have overworked the civil
servants. So they were sent in in batches every three months, letter A
one quarter, B the next and so on. When someone left an employer he
was 'given his cards', eg his NI card and P45.
 
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Nino's

For many years, I have tried to work out or otherwise find out the
structure of the UK National Insurance Number scheme and what the
various elements mean.

However, every time I ask, I come up against a brick wall. It must be
the most closely guarded state secret in the UK! Why?

My NI number consists of two letters of the alphabet followed by 6
numbers (divided into 3 pairs) followed by a single letter. What do
these letters and numbers signify?

I have been told that it is possible to work out someone's date of
birth from their NI number but how's it done? What other personal
information is encrypted in the NI number?

We all know that it is possible to find someone's date of birth from
the driver number on the driving licence but what is so special about
the NI number that its meaning is all hush-hush?

--
Alasdair.
I have done some reading and found lots of the information about NI number formats on the HMRC web site have "text removed and exempt from Freedom of Information Act"

In the USA, a man has worked out how to exchange the letters on his Social Security numbers to numerals. From this he can access his "Pre-paid" bank account. US banking is based upon the Bank of England model. Our Birth Certificates are held at the Treasury and have value and bonds attached to them and issued to banks so that the Government can borrow money and the Birth Certificate becomes the surety in that legislation dictates the Government can collect tax from us.

Bank accounts are of 8 numerals so converting the prefix letters to numerals may bring about the bank account number. The American system is based around the Uniform Commercial Code and you can become the secured party of that bank account by filling in a UCC1 and gain access to it. It has millions in it due to the Fractional Reserve System.

Check out the Bank of England Nominees Ltd and the Bank of England registered at Companies House. The former is the part of the Bank which lends to Government and has 1. Share capital, £2, Assets £2, Cash at Bank £2. With this, how can the BofE lend £1.5 trillion and what is the colateral? Us.
 
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