The governments’ Help to Save scheme for those on low incomes, has been extended until April 2025. The scheme offers a bonus of 50p for every £1 saved. Savers can deposit between £1 and £50 per month and the scheme offers bonus payments worth up to £1,200 over four years.
To be eligible, you need to be receiving:
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit and be entitled to Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit and (with their partner if it is a joint claim) take-home pay of £722.45 or more in their last monthly assessment period.
Individuals get help with savings if they’re on a low income on GOV.UK or through the HMRC app.
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 the 16th June you will not be able to pay in again until 1st July.
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.
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.
What happens after 4 years
Your Help to Save account closes after 4 years. You will not be able to reopen it or open another Help to Save account. You will 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 about other payroll saving options.
Not everyone will qualify for the Help To Save scheme, even for those who do, there are additional savings options for employers to offer which may help employees saving for a rainy day.
For information on other savings and employee well-being options see our PAYadvice.UK article: