Millions of Britons could be eligible for savings boost worth £1,200

Martin Lewis provides advice on help to save accounts

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

While it can be difficult for people to save, especially those on a low income, a specific scheme could help those who can put some money aside each month. The Help to Save scheme has been designed by the Government to help certain people in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit.

It allows these individuals to secure a bonus of 50 pence for every £1 they save across a four-year period.

Savers can put away between £1 and £50 each calendar month and will get two tax-free bonuses for doing so.

After the first two years, Britons can expect a bonus if they have been using their account, worth 50 percent of the highest balance they’ve saved.

Following the four-year term, individuals will then get a second and final bonus for continuing to save.

The bonus is 50 percent of the difference between:

  • The highest balance saved in the first two years (years one and two)
  • The highest balance saved in the last two years (years three and four).

The most a person will be able to pay into their account each calendar month is £50 – working out as £2,400 over four years.

Therefore, the highest bonus which can be earned is £1,200 – which could make a substantial difference. 

Barclays issues warning as scams involving your purchases rise [WARNING]
WASPI celebrates step forward in state pension age campaign [ANALYSIS]
State pension triple lock could see 10.1% rise to payment [INSIGHT]

Bonuses are then paid into a person’s bank account, rather than their Help to Save account.

There are certain eligibility rules a person will need to bear in mind when it comes to a Help to Save account.

The account can be opened if a person is receiving:

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit – with an entitlement to Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – and a person or their partner had a take home pay of £658.64 or more in their last monthly assessment period.

Take home pay represents pay after deductions such as tax and National Insurance are made.

People also need to be living in the UK, but can apply for an account living overseas if they are:

  • A Crown servant, or their spouse or civil partner
  • A member of the British armed forces or their spouse or civil partner.

If a person subsequently stops claiming benefits, then they can keep using their Help to Save account. 

However, individuals should be aware saving money in this way could impact their eligibility for particular benefits.

Help to Save bonuses will not affect Universal Credit payments.

What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea

If a person or their partner has £6,000 or less in savings this will not impact the Universal Credit they get.

This is the same for Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

The application process for a Help to Save account is designed to be a straightforward one.

The Government website explains: “You need a Government Gateway user ID and password to apply. 

“If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you apply. You’ll be asked to provide your UK bank details when you apply.”

People can then manage their account online through the Government website.

Source: Read Full Article