Local MP highlights the Help to Save scheme for working people on low incomes .
Help to Save is a new government saving scheme to support working people on tax credits and Universal Credit build their savings.
Residents can save between £1 and £50 every calendar month and accounts last for four years from the date of opening the account. Within these limits how much is saved and when money is paid in is up to the individual. There is no need to pay in each month for the account to remain open, and the account will only be closed at the request of the account holder. After two years, savers get a 50% tax-free bonus on their savings, and if they wish to continue saving get another 50% tax-free bonus after four years. This means you Basingstoke consituents can receive tax-free bonuses worth up to £1,200, to spend how they like.
Latest statistics show that over 132,000 people have deposited more than £31.4 million, meaning bonuses will total around £14 million. The accounts make saving affordable, achievable and worthwhile, with participants seeing themselves as ‘savers’ rather than ‘spenders’.
Maria said “Help to Save is a Government-backed savings account. The 50% Government bonus means it’s a great opportunity for working people on low incomes to become regular savers. On average, it takes less than 5 minutes to apply and, once verified, constituents can start saving straight away.”
Help to Save Top 10: What you need to know
1. With Help to Save you get a 50% bonus on your savings. So you can earn 50p for every £1 you save
You can save between £1 and £50 every calendar month and accounts last for four years from the date you open the account. Within these limits how much you save and when you pay in is up to you. You don’t need to pay in each month for the account to remain open, and we will only close the account if you tell us to.
After two years, you’ll get a 50% tax-free bonus on your savings. And if you continue saving you could get another 50% tax-free bonus after four years. This means you could receive tax-free bonuses worth up to £1,200, to spend how you like.
2. Help to Save is available for working people who receive tax credits or Universal Credit
You can open a Help to Save account if you live in the UK and you’re either:
● entitled to Working Tax Credit and receiving Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit payments
● claiming Universal Credit and your household income in your last monthly assessment period was £569.22 or more. Payments from Universal Credit won’t be considered part of your household income. (Figure correct 1st April 2019.)
Also, if you and your partner have a household award of tax credits or Universal Credit and are eligible for Help to Save you can each open individual accounts.
3. Opening an online account is simple
Eligible customers can open an online account within minutes. You can do this at gov.uk/helptosave or through the HMRC app.
To set up your account all you’ll need is:
● your National Insurance Number
● your bank account details – the bonus and any withdrawals will be paid into this account
● a Government Gateway account. If you don’t have a Government Gateway account you can create one as part of your application.
4. Paying in is easy
You can set up a standing order to make regular payments into your Help to Save account on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis to t the way that you manage your money. That way you won’t have to remember to make the payment.
You can also make one-off payments by debit card when you are in your online account.
To make the most of your £50 monthly deposits and get the maximum bonus make sure your payments, including standing orders, arrive in your account before the last working day of the month to ensure they are credited that month. Don’t get caught out by weekends and
5. You can withdraw money if you need to
You can withdraw money at any time from your account.
If you withdraw money it will be harder for you to increase your highest balance, and then get the biggest bonus.
6. You can continue to receive tax credits or Universal Credit while saving with Help to Save
If you receive Working Tax Credits you will not see a reduction in the support you get.
Your Universal Credit award will only be affected if all your total savings are over the current £6,000 savings limit.
7. If your situation changes and you stop receiving Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, you can still save
You don’t need to inform us of this and can still keep your account, pay in money and get any bonuses you’re entitled to.
8. Help to Save is backed by the government
This means that the money you save is secure.
9. Help to Save accounts will be available to open from September 2018
Eligible customers can apply from September 2018 and up to September 2023.
10. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can still get an account
Call 0300 322 7093 and our helpline advisers will help you get set up.