Voluntary contributions may also be paid if profits are below the threshold. The original plan was to abolish Class 2 National Insurance from April 2019 and potentially merge them with Class 4 which runs at 9% of profits. Class 4 does kick in at the higher level of £8,424.
There has however been a further announcement made (September 2018) by the Exchequer secretary to the Treasury that the government will not proceed with the Class 2 changes following a review of evidence concerning the impact on self-employed individuals with low profits. In short, the weekly contributions will continue to be collected as part of your tax return.
The fear was that people who are below the threshold who still want to pay the £2.95 would have had to pay significantly more to access Class 3 National Insurance at £14.65 per week.