So - as long as he is paying NI contributions of some sort he’s OK on the state pension front. I hadn’t thought that you only had to pay something to qualify and that the actual amount is irrelevant. That’s good then.
It's a bit boring, and I understand that he might have reached his current working arrangements by accident, but being professional (and playing for professional advice) is going to take a lot of pointless worry out of his life moving forward. Allow him to concentrate on the important stuff.