§ Lord Northbrook
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many national insurance numbers are in issue; and what steps are being made to limit their allocation to those who are entitled to them. [HL4714]
§ Baroness Hollis of Heigham
The total stock of national insurance numbers (NINOs) is 71.5 million. The vast majority of NINOs are issued to UK born residents at the age of 15 years and 9 months. The enhanced NINO process (ENP) which almost exclusively affects people entering the UK from abroad, was introduced in April 2001 to ensure a thorough and consistent approach to NINO allocation for benefit applications and for those starting work or in employment. This robust process includes face-to-face interviews for all clients, the provision of document examination tools and comprehensive guidance for interviewing staff Only when this process is satisfactorily completed will a NINO be allocated.