In the 2013 Autumn Statement the government announced its intention to introduce a scheme for pensioners to top up their Additional State Pension by paying a new class of voluntary National Insurance contribution, to be known as Class 3A.
In December the DWP published a policy paper on Class 3A Voluntary National Insurance which gives more detail.
The scheme will open in October 2015 and will be available for a limited period. It will be open to all pensioners who reach State Pension age before the introduction of the single tier pension in April 2016, provided they have entitlement to a UK State Pension (either basic State Pension or additional State Pension).
Class 3A will give pensioners an option to top up their pension in a way that will protect them from inflation and offer protection to surviving spouses. In particular, it could help women, and those who have been self-employed, who tend to have low Additional Pension entitlement.