The Government has added a new feature to its Help to Save scheme that they hope will encourage more eligible people to save.
HMRC has launched a new tool, available on its app, which lets savers set savings goals and personal reminders and it says it will help people to keep on track and maximise the bonuses available.
The Help to Save scheme was launched back in September 2018 and so far, it has taken in over £10 million, with 80,000 people signing up. It offers a fantastic 50% bonus on the amount saved but is only available to those entitled to Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit.
Savers can deposit up to £50 per calendar month over a four year period, with bonuses paid after two and four years. After four years the account will be closed and no further Help to Save account can be opened.
You can access your money at any time, however the bonus is based on the highest balance in the account at any time within each bonus period, therefore any money withdrawn may affect the bonus you can achieve over the term of the account.
The maximum bonus that can be achieved in the first two years is £600, with a further £600 available after year four. Over the term, savers could have amassed up to £3,600, which includes the maximum contributions plus the full £1,200 bonus – to achieve this the maximum amount must be saved and no withdrawals made.
The generous bonus will be welcome but of course only to those who can afford to save to get it. It’s encouraging that the Government are doing what they can to try and encourage everyone to get into the savings habit, although there has been some criticism that those on the lowest incomes struggle with the day to day cost of living, let alone putting money aside in a saving account. That being said, for those that can afford to utilise the account, the bonus is a great incentive.
John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said:
“Whether you are saving for a family break, putting money away for a rainy day, or even saving for next Christmas, Help to Save is designed to make savings as simple as possible. And with the new version of the app, which can be personalised to help you make the most of your bonus, it’s easier than ever”.
For those looking for more details on the Help to Save scheme, we’ll shortly be releasing a factsheet with all account features and terms and conditions.
You might also like...