Help To Save
Help to Save is an exciting new Government savings offer, designed to help working people on low incomes to build up their savings. It will support people to become regular savers, helping families and individuals prepare and plan for the future through a generous 50% tax-free bonus. Savers will receive a tax-free Government bonus of 50p for every £1 of eligible savings instead of interest. From September 2018, the scheme will open to working people eligible for Working Tax Credit or claiming Universal Credit.
The accounts are government-backed, simple to open, and flexible. Savers can pay in from £1 to £50 each calendar month. Customers making the maximum deposit of £2,400 over four years without making withdrawals will receive government bonuses of £1,200. There is no minimum account balance or monthly transfer needed to keep a Help to Save account open. Customers can also choose to skip payments, although the less money saved the smaller the final bonus.
Individuals can withdraw money at any time from their account. However withdrawing money will make it harder to increase the highest balance in the account, and therefore get the biggest bonus.
Account holders can choose to close their Help to Save account at any time but will not be entitled to any unpaid bonus and will be unable to re-open an account. Customers should ring the helpline if they want to close their account.
Eligible customers have up to five years to open an account (from September 2018), so they can decide when the time is right for them.
Find out more at gov.uk/helptosave or phoning 0300 322 7093
Who is eligible for Help to Save?
To be eligible for Help to Save, customers must be a UK resident and:
- be receiving Working Tax Credit; or
- have a nil award of Working Tax Credit but receiving Child Tax Credit; or
- be in receipt of Universal Credit with minimum individual or household earnings equivalent to 16 hours times the National Living Wage in their last income assessment period (that’s £542.88 during the financial year 2018-19).
If customers have a joint Universal Credit or tax credits award, both partners can open an account.
Where can customers apply?
Customers can open an account online at gov.uk/helptosave. Alternatively customers can use the HMRC app, available for iOS and Android.
Tax credits customers can use their personal tax account – see ‘Manage my tax credits’. Customers who are digitally excluded can apply by phone via the Help to Save helpline 0300 322 7093.
Changes in circumstances
Once a customer has opened a Help to Save account most changes in their circumstances during the lifetime of their account – for example, ceasing to be eligible for Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits – will not affect their entitlement to continue saving under the scheme.
There is one exception – that is those who no longer continue to live in the UK or are absent for a period of time which is:
- more than eight weeks for those receiving Working Tax Credit when they opened their account, or
- more than one month for those receiving Universal Credit when they opened their account.
There are exceptions where an absence is due to illness, medical treatment or bereavement, or certain professions.
For further information, please contact the Sustaining Tenancies Team at [email protected]