Here's How You Could earn A 50% Savings Bonus!
Help to Save is a type of savings account backed by the government, making your savings secure and allows certain people, who are entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit, to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over 4 years.
You can open a Help to Save account if you’re receiving:
Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit – and you’re entitled to Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit and you (with your partner if it’s a joint claim) had take-home pay of £658.64 or more in your last monthly assessment period.
Your take-home pay is your pay after deductions (such as tax or National Insurance).
If you get payments as a couple, you and your partner can apply for your own Help to Save accounts. You need to apply separately.
You also need to be living in the UK. If you live overseas, you can apply for an account if you’re either a:
Crown servant or their spouse or civil partner
member of the British armed forces or their spouse or civil partner
The savings account was recommended by Martin Lewis on his 'The Martin Lewis Money Show' recently, and so I thought it was worth mentioning, as I certainly wasn't aware of it, so it might be helpful to many people.
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 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.
Here's an example: You 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.
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)
You will not earn a final bonus if your highest balance does not increase.
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, so you can use it on whatever you want.
You can keep using your Help to Save account if you stop receiving benefits, but you wouldn't be able to open up another one.
How it will affect your benefits
Saving money through a Help to Save account could affect your eligibility for certain benefits and how much you get. Universal Credit
If you or your partner have £6,000 or less in personal savings, this will not affect how much Universal Credit you get. This includes any savings in your Help to Save account. Your Help to Save bonuses will not affect your Universal Credit payments. Working Tax Credit
Any savings or bonuses you earn through Help to Save will not affect how much Working Tax Credit you get.
If you or your partner have £6,000 or less in personal savings, this will not affect how much Housing Benefit you get. This includes any savings in your Help to Save account. Your Help to Save bonuses will not affect your Housing Benefit payments.
If you are eligible to open an account, you can do so on the official Government website.