The Help to Save Scheme is a government scheme that aims to help those on low incomes to be able to save. It allows people who are entitled to working tax credit or receiving universal credit to get a bonus of 50% of what they save over 4 years.
Who is entitled to the help to save scheme?
People receiving Working Tax Credit
People entitled to Working Tax Credit and receiving Child Tax Credit
People claiming Universal Credit and if the person (or them and their partner jointly) earned £617.73 or more from paid work in the last monthly assessment period.
How does it work?
The account holder can deposit between £1 and £50 each calendar month; however, you DO NOT have to pay money in the account every month.
The account holder can pay into the account by debit card, standing order or bank transfer.
The account holder can pay into the account as many times as they choose to in the month but the maximum that can be paid into the account is £50 a month.
You can withdraw the money from the help to save account but only into a bank account.
The bonuses are paid at the end of the second and the fourth year. After the first 2 years, a bonus of 50% of the highest balance saved within those 2 years. After the 4 years, a final bonus will be paid. This will amount to 50% of the difference between the highest balance paid in the first two years and the highest amount save in the last two years.
If the highest balance does not increase between the second and fourth year, the final balance will not be paid. The most that can be paid into the account over 4 years is £2400 earning a maximum of £1200 in bonuses, making the maximum balance £3600 over 4 years. After this, the account will be closed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will it affect my benefits?
If you or your partner have £6000 or less in personal savings, then this will not affect your universal credit. Help to save account allows for a maximum of £3600 including the government bonus.
Savings or bonuses earned through the help to save scheme will not affect the amount of working tax credit you receive.
Housing benefits will not be impacted if you or your partner have £6000 or less in total savings including your help to save account.
Can you withdraw money?
During the 4 years, the account holder will be entitled to withdraw their balance from the help to save account, however, it may be harder to:
Grow your highest balance which is a maximum of £600 in a year.
Earn the largest possible bonus which is a maximum of £300 in a year.
How can I apply?
To apply, you will need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you currently do not have one, you can create one when you apply.
To apply for a help to save account or sign in to your help to save account, click here.