How does the Help to Save Scheme work?

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Help to Save is a new government-backed scheme aimed at helping lower-paid workers get into the habit of putting away small amounts of money each month. In return, savers receive generous bonuses that can be used for any future financial needs.

For every £1 you save, you'll get a bonus of 50p. You can save up to £50 every calendar month for four years, so, if you save the maximum amount of £2,400, your overall bonus would total £1,200.

How to open your account

You can open an online account, or check your eligibility 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 these things handy:

  • 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, in which case you will need the necessary documents to hand.

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can still get an account. Call 0300 322 7093 and Help to Save helpline advisers will help you get set up.

How to pay into your new account

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 fit in the way that you like to manage your money. You can also make one-off payments by debit card when you are in your online account.

To make the most of your savings and get the maximum bonus then you should try to make sure that your payments, including standing orders, arrive in your Help to Save account before the last working day of each month to ensure they are credited. Don’t get caught out by weekends and public holidays!

How to withdraw money when you need to

You can withdraw money at any time from your account. However, withdrawing cash may make it harder to achieve the maximum bonus.

The maximum amount that you can deposit in any month is £50. So, for instance if you’ve already deposited £50 in that month and then withdraw some or all of that money, you can’t then re-deposit more money and may miss out on your maximum bonus.

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.

If your situation changes and you stop receiving Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, you can still save

You don’t need to inform HMRC of this and can still keep your account, pay in money and get any bonuses you’re entitled to.

Help to Save accounts are now open

Eligible customers can apply from September 2018 and up to September 2023.