GOV.UK: The Help to Save scheme

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Image Credit: This is money UK

Stumbled upon this whilst accessing the Government website and thought that it was a really good initiative to encourage people to save. It is, however, advisable to only save what you can afford. Happy Savings.

About Help to Save

Savings play an important role in helping families and individuals prepare and plan for the future.

Help to Save is a new government saving scheme to support working people on low incomes to build their savings.

Over 4 years, regular savers can deposit up to £50 a month and could receive up to £1,200 in tax-free bonuses.

If you have already opened a Help to Save account, you can sign in.

Who Help to Save is for

The scheme, administered by HM Revenue and Customs, will be open to UK residents who are:

  • entitled to Working Tax Credit and receiving Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit payments
  • claiming Universal Credit and have a household or individual income of at least £542.88 for their last monthly assessment period (though note that payments from Universal Credit are not considered to be part of your household income)

People living overseas who meet either of these eligibility conditions can apply for an account if they are:

  • a Crown servant – or their spouse or civil partner
  • a member of the British armed forces – or their spouse or civil partner

If you currently meet one of these eligibility conditions, you do not need to do anything different at this stage.

Help to Save started with a trial in January 2018, rolling out in stages. It will be available to all those eligible from October 2018.

How it works

Once confirmed as eligible, customers can start saving straight away. All transactions, including checking the balance and paying in savings, can be managed in an online account available through GOV.UK.

Customers can save up to £50 each month.

At the end of 2 years, savers will get a 50% bonus based on the highest balance achieved.

Customers can carry on saving for another 2 years and get another 50% bonus on their additional savings.

Over 4 years, those saving the maximum of £2,400 will receive bonuses of £1,200.

Money paid into the account can be withdrawn at any time, but this could affect the size of the bonus payment.

Help to Save trial

The Help to Save service went into a trial phase known as ‘private beta’ in January 2018. It is being rolled out gradually so that it can be tested and developed.

There are a limited number of accounts available each day during the trial phase.

Customers are currently being invited gradually into the service through the HMRC app and, if they are eligible for Working Tax Credit, through their personal tax account.

If you are interested in taking part in the trial, or if you would just like to know more about Help to Save, please phone 0300 322 7093. Lines are open from Monday to Friday between 10am and 6pm.

Help to Save accounts will be available to all those who are eligible from October 2018.

Accounts will be available to open for 5 years.

Sign in to your Help to Save account

If you have already opened a Help to Save account, you can sign in.

You can also access your Help to Save account through your personal tax account or the HMRC app.

A little extract on The Money Advice website explains a bit more and offers an alternative option to sign up below

If you’re eligible and want to apply for an account now as part of the trial, you can apply online at tax.service.gov.uk/help-to-save opens in new window.

Your eligibility will be assessed by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) through the Government Gateway and you will not need to submit any paperwork.

Your Help to Save account will be held with National Savings & Investments (NS&I).

However, you will also need a bank or building society account to pay money into the Help to Save account and to receive your bonus payments.