Neferirkare was the second son of Khentkaus I to have ruled Egypt. As with his brother Sahure, it is not certain whether Userkaf was his father. Neferirkare was married to a name-sake of his mother's, Khentkaus II. It is not unlikely that Khentkaus II too was related to Khentkaus I. At least two children are believed to have been born of this marriage: Neferefre and Niuserre. Other wives and children are not known.
The length of his reign is unfortunately lost on the Turin King-list and the Palermo-stone breaks of after having recorded a 5th counting, which, if the counting occurred every two years, would mean that Neferirkare at least ruled for 10 years. According to Manetho, his rule lasted for 20 years, a number which appears to be generally accepted.
Neferirkare was the first king to have his birth-name made part of the official titulary, thus adding a second cartouche. He also completed (or modified) the solar-temple built by Userkaf in Abusir. His own solar-temple, called Set-ib-Re, has yet to be located.
He was also the second king to erect his funerary monument at Abusir. The seals and papyri discovered in his mortuary temple give some insights into the functioning of this temple. The documents are dated to the end of the 6th Dynasty, which indicates that the cult for the deceased Neferirkare at least lasted until the end of the Old Kingdom.