Help to Save scheme

The Help to Save scheme is intended to help those on low incomes to boost their savings. Eligible users of the scheme can save between £1 and £50 every calendar month and receive a 50% government bonus. The 50% bonus is payable at the end of the second and fourth years and is based on how much account holders have saved. The bonus is paid directly into the account holder’s chosen bank account.

This means that account holders on low incomes can receive a maximum bonus of up to £1,200 on savings of £2,400 for four years from the date the account is opened. The scheme is open to most working people who receive Working Tax Credits or Universal Credit.

Almost 450,000 people have opened Help to Save accounts since the scheme was launched in September 2018 and March 2023, with nearly £372.5 million paid into accounts during that time. This has seen the government award £146 million in bonus payments.

The scheme had been due to end in September 2023 but was extended by 18 months, until April 2025. The extension was announced as part of the Spring Budget measures earlier this year.



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The Help to Save scheme can assist those on low incomes to boost their savings. The scheme was launched in September 2018 and new figures just published by HMRC have revealed that over 163,000 people have signed up depositing more than £53 million.

The scheme is open to working people who receive tax credits or universal credit and with a minimum earned income equivalent to 16 hours per week at the National Living Wage in their last assessment period.

Account holders using the scheme can save between £1 and £50 every calendar month for up to two years and will then receive a 50% Government bonus. Payments under the scheme can be made by standing order on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis and one-off payments by debit card are also possible.

Account holders can then continue saving under the scheme for a further 2 years and receive another bonus. This could result in account holders receiving a bonus of up to £1,200 on maximum savings of £2,400 for 4 years from the date the account is opened. After 4 years the Help to Save account will be closed and savers will not be able to reopen it or open another Help to Save account. The account balances are expected to be rolled over into successor accounts.

There are no limits on how the money used can be spent but it is hoped that the money will be saved for urgent costs. Money paid into the account can be withdrawn at any time, but this could affect the size of the bonus payment. The Government is urging anyone that is eligible to use the scheme to look at the benefits and sign up as soon as possible.



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The Help to Save scheme for people on low incomes was officially launched in September 2018 and since then over 80,000 people have signed up. The scheme allows those in work entitled to Working Tax Credit and in receipt of Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% government bonus.


The scheme is also open to UK residents who are claiming Universal Credit and have a household or individual income of at least £542.88 for their last monthly assessment period. Payments from Universal Credit are not considered to be part of household income.


Payments under the scheme can be made by standing order on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis and one-off payments by debit card are also possible. Account holders will then be able to continue saving under the scheme for a further 2 years and receive another bonus. This could see those on low incomes receive a bonus of up to £1,200 on maximum savings of £2,400 for 4 years from the date the account is opened. After the 4 years the Help to Save account will be closed and savers will not be able to reopen it or open another Help to Save account. The account balances are expected to be rolled over into successor accounts.


There are no limits on how the savings can be spent but it is advised that the money will be saved for urgent costs. Money paid into the account can be withdrawn at any time, but this could affect the size of the bonus payment. HMRC has also launched a new tool in the HMRC app that lets savers set their own savings goals and personal reminders, to keep on track and maximise bonuses using the scheme.



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