HELP TO SAVE
How it works
Help to Save is a type of savings account. It allows certain people entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over 4 years.
Help to Save is backed by the government so all savings in the scheme are secure.
How payments work
You can save between £1 and £50 each calendar month. You do not have to pay money in every month.
You can pay money into your Help to Save account by debit card, standing order or bank transfer.
You can pay in as many times as you like, but the most you can pay in each calendar month is £50. For example, if you have saved £50 by 8 January you will not be able to pay in again until 1 February.
You can only withdraw money from your Help to Save account to your bank account.
How bonuses work
You get bonuses at the end of the second and fourth years. They’re based on how much you’ve saved.
What happens after 4 years
Your Help to Save account will close 4 years after you open it. You will not be able to reopen it or open another Help to Save account. You’ll be able to keep the money from your account.
You can close your account at any time. If you close your account early you’ll miss your next bonus and you will not be able to open another one.
What you’ll get
You can earn 2 tax-free bonuses over 4 years. You’ll get any bonuses you’ve earned even if you withdraw money.
After your first 2 years, you’ll get a first bonus if you’ve been using your account to save. This bonus will be 50% of the highest balance you’ve saved.
After 4 years, you’ll get a final bonus if you continue to save. This bonus will be 50% of the difference between 2 amounts:
the highest balance saved in the first 2 years (years 1 and 2)
the highest balance saved in the last 2 years (years 3 and 4)
If your highest balance does not increase, you will not earn a final bonus.
The most you can pay into your account each calendar month is £50, which is £2,400 over 4 years. The most you can earn from your savings in 4 years is £1,200 in bonus money.
Your bonus is paid into your bank account, not your Help to Save account.
ExampleYou pay in £25 every calendar month for 2 years. You do not withdraw any money. Your highest balance will be £600. Your first bonus is £300, which is 50% of £600.
In years 3 and 4 you save an extra £200 to grow your highest balance from £600 to £800. Your final bonus is £100, which is 50% of £200. Even though you withdrew some money after your balance was £800, this does not affect your bonus.
What happens if you withdraw money.
If you withdraw money it will be harder for you to:
grow your highest balance
earn the largest possible bonuses
Withdrawing money could mean you are not able to earn a final bonus - depending on how much you withdraw and when.